Upton strong in college debut

Published 12:01 am Saturday, February 16, 2013

DECATUR — Caleb Upton was a home run short of a cycle and finished the doubleheader 4-for-6 in his first college baseball game for Hinds Community College Friday.

The Cathedral High School alumnus went 3-for-4 with a single, double and triple in Hinds’ first game of the East Central Community College tournament against Southeastern Iowa. He followed it up going 1-for-2 with a double in the second game against Faulkner. Hinds won the first game 7-5 and lost the second game 4-0.

“I stood up to the plate in my first at-bat and really wasn’t thinking about much else but my mechanics, and the ball jumped off my bat pretty well,” Upton said.

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He didn’t realize how well until he rounded second, he added.

“I found it bouncing off the (outfield) wall,” Upton said. “It’s like a rush. I look up at the end of the first game, and I’m like, ‘Man, I went 3-for-4 in my first ball game. It feels like my work paid off.”

But Upton said he’s not letting the strong start make him overconfident early in the season. Good or bad, he doesn’t let one game’s performance carry over into the next.

“I had to learn the hard way that baseball is about having confidence,” Upton said. “Even on your good days, the next day could be bad. You have to play your game regardless.”

Upton started at catcher for Hinds, and he admitted his legs began to get a little tired during the second game.

“I told my assistant coach that my legs were beginning to get tired after my last inning (on defense), and after my last at-bat, I was done,” Upton said.

Upton said he wanted to thank Cathedral baseball coach Craig Beesley and assistant coach Ron Rushing for helping him get the opportunity to play college baseball.