‘Hard Work’ Powers Zientek to All-D3 Team

By Luke Shannon | Sports Editor

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In a week where his team went 3-0 against Ithaca and conference opponent Moravian, Corey Zientek earned national recognition for his role in those games.

The sophomore outfielder had 8 hits in 12 at-bats for a .667 batting average over the week. He earned a spot on the D3baseball.com Team of the Week for his efforts. He was also awarded Landmark Conference athlete of the week.

Despite continuing his torrid start to the 2022 season, Zientek said the highlight of the week for him was a team achievement. He mentioned sweeping conference rival Moravian as his favorite moment from a week where he drove in four and scored seven runs himself.

“It was a big bounce back after losing the series against Elizabethtown the weekend before, so it was definitely a great feeling to get our first conference series win of the year,” Zientek said.

Zientek called it a ‘very honoring feeling’ to get this recognition for the first time in his collegiate career. However, he also gave credit to those mentors who helped him grow as a player and achieve this level of play.

“I knew if I put the hard work in during the offseason and continued to prepare each week, I would be able to continue my success on the field. I also think our coaching staff deserves recognition for preparing us every week to go out and play at the highest level,” Zientek said.

After another win against Muhlenberg, Corey’s season-long batting average/ on-base percentage/ slugging percentage triple slash line now sits at .424/.500/.763. He is third in the Landmark Conference in batting average and slugging, while ranking fourth in on-base percentage.

This combination of high-ranking rate statistics is incredibly difficult for a hitter to achieve because of the give-and-take nature of the skill. A high slugging percentage necessitates power, which often requires hitters to sacrifice contact (batting average), or their ability to get on base with walks.

In the conference, he is also tied for second in doubles on the season and is tied for the fourth-most runs scored. This is despite receiving 21 less at-bats than the conference leader and ranking 26th in that category. In the field, he has yet to make an error, posting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

Zientek’s numbers are up across the board from last season, when he slashed .311/.422/.568. However, he insists he did not change anything in his swing.

“All I did was continue to get my work in and take swings consistently,” Zientek said. “I think a big help to my success at the plate has been my approach to see the fastball early in the count and smash it. However, the most important thing for me has been to just go out there and have fun. At the end of the day, it’s just a game that I love.”