BRISTOL - Jimmy Sullivan knew he needed to make a change.
Just a few weeks after he led Wethersfield High School to the Class L title - a game in which he went 4-for-5 with home runs, a pair of triples and six RBI - the University of Virginia commit found himself struggling at the plate with the Bristol Blues throughout June.
In the four games he appeared in, Sullivan went 0-for-10 at the plate with five strikeouts.
Sullivan noticed his timing was off at the plate, which was resulting in him being late on fastballs. Because of the problems, Sullivan went to work to adjust his swing.
“I think just lowering my leg kick has helped me with the timing,” Sullivan said. “The pitching is faster so I had to make that adjustment and I did that.”
The results of the change have been a resemblance of the hitter who powered the Wethersfield baseball team.
In the month of July, Sullivan has been one of the most dominant batters in Bristol’s lineup, batting .473 with four multi-hit games in the five appearances he’s made since tweaking his swing. He’s also shown pop with a double, triple and driven in three runs over that stretch.
Just as impressive has been his ability to cut back on his strikeouts. Sullivan has struck out just four times in his last 19 at bats.
And the changes haven’t gone unnoticed by the Blues coaching staff. He’s been the designated hitter in the past two games after having played in the field in his previous three July appearances.
“He just has a better presence at the plate,” Bristol manager Ronnie Palmer said. “He’s been making the adjustments to college level pitching compared to what he’s seen in high school and I think that he’s really come a long way. Right now he’s in the mix for us at DH, but he will get some time in the outfield as well.”
Picking up big hits in big games is something Sullivan thrives on and he’s already proven more than capable of shouldering the load for a championship team. Now, he’s looking to do the same at a higher level of competition.
“It would mean a lot to win a championship [with the Blues],” Sullivan said. “I think what I can bring to the team is getting timely hits with runners on base and that’s what I’m going to do.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org