In a four-game sweep of the Golden Grizzlies in College Park, the Terps’ first four wins of the 2013 season, the center fielder stole an absurd 10 bases, including four in Friday’s opener, Maryland’s highest single-game total since Larry Long against Howard on April 15, 1998. The Terps also collectively stole 11 bases in that game against the Golden Grizzlies, another program record.
White, who shared the weekly award with Florida State’s Marcus Davis, was also voted one of Louisville Slugger’s national players of the week by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. The left-handed speedster stands just 5 feet 9, but even with teams keying on his base-stealing abilities, has remained largely untouched this season.
“We try to run an aggressive style of offense,” White said by phone Tuesday. “Going into the weekend, we knew we were going to look to run. Luckily we got on base a lot. The opportunity was there.”
And White took advantage. In three of those four games, White reached scoring position in the opening frame as Maryland’s leadoff hitter, all in different fashion. First he doubled, stole third then stole home. In the third game, he walked, advanced on a passed ball and scored on an RBI groundout. Finally, he singled and stole second.
What else is new?
The redshirt sophomore started in the same spot last season before breaking his hand in mid-March, finishing with a .304 batting average across 17 games. Through seven games in 2013, including a season-opening trip to nationally ranked LSU, White is hitting .458 with three doubles, five RBI and 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts, first in the ACC by six steals.
“I’d say a little bit of both,” White said, when asked if he relies more on raw speed or technique on the basepaths. “I’ve always been pretty fast, but done speed training in the offseason to maintain my speed. They see me, a left-handed leadoff hitter, they assume I’m more of a speed type. It’s just all about getting on base and getting a good jump off the pitcher.”
Under first-year Coach Jon Sfzec, the Terps are 4-3 entering Wednesday’s single-game road trip to James Madison. Two of those losses came by a combined five runs to LSU in Baton Rouge.
“We went down there knowing we could play with anyone,” White said. “I don’t think any of us are surprised. Most of us are disappointed we couldn’t get a win.”