MACON, Ga. — With a win over No. 10 Florida State, and what quickly followed with Head Coach Craig Gibson's 600th career win, it's been quite a start to the year for Mercer Baseball.
Of the many Bears helping them get there, one freshman in particular is catching everyone's eye. But in fact, he's been catching eyes in Central Georgia for the past four years.
“Well we like young guys, we like to keep young guys in the mix,” Gibson said. “I think it certainly helps you, and just the chemistry, to get a young guy in there.”
For the Bears this spring, the young guy who Coach Gibson has turned to in the early stages of the year happens to be playing his college ball close to home.
That would be Houston County High School alum Treyson Hughes; the 2021 state champ is still leaning on that high school experience less than a year later.
“He's very explosive, he's very dynamic,” Gibson said. “He can play any of the three outfield positions. He can hit at the top of the order, the bottom of the order. We've tried to put him in a position in our order to take pressure off him.”
But no matter where they slot him in the order, the kid delivers.
Just 12 games into the season, Hughes has logged 15 hits, 8 runs scored, and a .469 batting average. He’s learning all of it from a couple good ones in the outfield.
“I just see my role to get on base and people like Colby Thomas and Bill Knight just hit me in,” Hughes said. “Just my job, and if I do mine, they do theirs.”
With a top-10 win already in the bag, it's that kind of leadership that gives Hughes' first year in Macon the chance to be a special one.
“Seeing people like Colby Thomas hit the ball 500 feet every single day. It's a different feeling out here with these older guys. It's a different feeling too,” he said.
It’s a feeling all too similar to the one Hughes had less than a year ago, just up the road in Atlanta.
“Of course he comes from a great program, they've had a lot of success,” Gibson said. “And we were there with Casey Stewart, Tanner Hall, and it looks like Treyson Hughes might be the best of them so far.”