ALL-COUNTY: Hitter Jackson Upchurch
By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Ayden-Grifton sophomore Jackson Upchurch knows what it means to work hard and grind to improve at the plate.
Upchurch batted for a .418 batting average, 24 runs, 23 hits and 11 RBIs, which earned him hitter of the year honors for The Daily Reflector’s All-County Baseball Team.
Upchurch’s consistency at the plate in the middle of the Chargers lineup allowed the team to continue to produce runs, even if others in the lineup were struggling.
Upchurch approaches each new season with the same mentality.
“We just go out hoping for the best,” he said. “We’re always preparing and looking forward to playing together. There’s always some nerves, I just have to work on focusing when I’m at the plate.”
Part of Upchurch’s rise in batting average, up from .298 from his freshman season, was his recognition of pitches. He worked in the offseason with A-G coach Corey Skinner and Lance Martin at Next Level Training Center on recognizing what pitches were best for contact.
That thought process paid off for Upchurch and A-G to begin the season.
The Chargers started the year by winning their first three games.
“Everything just goes so smoothly (during a winning streak),” Upchurch said. “We are just playing to win and taking that confidence from practice into a game and using what coach has told us.”
Upchurch’s accolades at the plate have not stopped his work to continue to become the best possible player he can on both sides of the ball. He looks to continue to improve his defensive play as the Chargers’ go-to shortstop. He is also looking to continue to work on swinging the bat, identifying pitches early, giving him all the time he needs to make his choice on whether to swing.
Upchurch still has time to continue to grow for the Chargers. He hopes his work ethic and practice will continue to help him improve as a baseball player.
Contact Jake Keator at 252-329-9594 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @JakeKeatorDR on twitter.