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March 28, 2014

College notebook: Bingel settling in for Bryant baseball

There almost always comes a time in a dual-threat baseball player’s life when he has to choose between pitching and hitting.

Peabody’s Brandon Bingel is glad that time hasn’t come yet.

In his years at St. John’s Prep, Bingel was one of the best dual-threats in the Bay State, and he’s carried that over to his freshman campaign at Bryant University.

A shortstop at the Prep, Bingel is settling in on the other side of the infield for Bryant, which is 11-8 on the year. He’s appeared in 16 of Bryant’s games, with the majority of those appearances being starts at second.

Hitting college pitching has been a slight adjustment for Bingel, whose average is .171 on the year. He has a five-game hitting streak, however, as he’s becoming more comfortable at the dish.

“Getting used to facing guys that can throw any pitch on either side of the plate is probably the biggest adjustment,” Bingel said. “Things started out a little shaky, but its picking up for me lately.”

The velocity of college pitching isn’t a lot higher than it is in high school. Pitcher’s ability to control the plate and hit their spots is a much bigger adjustment. In high school, a pitch might come inside where you can focus on it. In college,you have to be ready for that same pitch to dip to the opposite side of the dish.

“We faced a few guys at Maryland that got up to the mid 90s,” Bingel said of Bryant’s season opening trip to the ACC rival. “It’s mostly upper 80’s, but all the guys have three pitches and good command.”

On the hill, the righthanded Bingel has only thrown two innings. He took one loss, and has given up three earned runs and four walks in that time. At 5-foot-10, Bingel brings decent velocity and a very strong cut fastball. As he adjusts to the college game, he’ll aim to improve command and attack hitters in the same manner he did in a dominant senior year at St. John’s.

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