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Valley Hi!

June 24, 2011

Official site of the Valley Baseball League

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

It seems like just when Sam Dove thinks he knows all the answers they change the questions — or at least positions.

Dove, who played his entire freshman season filling in on the Yellow Jackets’ infield and his entire sophomore season in the outfield, may get a preview of his junior season, as he’s moving back to the infield, playing second base for the Harrisonburg Turks of the Valley Baseball League.

Heading into play June 24th, the Brentwood, Tenn., native was hitting .349, with a .442 slugging percentage, seven RBIs, six runs scored and three stolen bases in three attempts. He’s hitting .433 over his last seven games (13-for-30), with five multi-hit games, five runs scored and all seven RBIs.

In addition to his offensive skill, Dove is getting accustomed to playing second base, fielding .977, one error in 42 chances in 10 games.

The Turks lead the Central Division and boast the league’s best record at 13-4. Their loss Thursday night snapped a five-game winning streak and was only their second in their last 10 games.

Dove took time to talk with Sting Daily about going to Harrisonburg, going back to second base and where he’d like to go building off the League.

STING DAILY: How do you like Harrisonburg so far?

Sam Dove: I got up here, they had already played about seven games, I think. I took a week off just from playing so many games at school. I felt my body needed a little break. Now I’m getting back on track and trying to get things rolling again. The set up up here is great. A lot of good guys, a lot of good baseball. The league is a lot of fun. It’s pretty laid back and you get to meet all these different guys. There are a couple of guys from the ACC, a couple of guys from Wake Forest and Duke. It’s been fun to meet those guys. So I’m excited to see where the summer goes from here.

STING: How did you find the Valley League?

SAM: I know that Tech has sent players here before, I’m not sure if the Turks’ coach called and said, ‘We need another player’ or what have you, but [Georgia Tech Assistant] Coach [Tom] Kinkelaar came up to me one day and asked me if I’d like to come here and I said yes.

STING: What would you like to work on while you’re up there?

SAM: Right now I’m really just trying to get used to the wood bat. It’s a little different ball game, a little different feel. I’m trying to work on a few things that I would have liked to have done better in school, but right now I’m just trying to get the feel for the bats and moving back to the infield. I’m playing the infield, again, up here.

STING: Have you ever played second base before? Do you think this could be a move for down the road?

SAM: I played short all of high school, pretty much all my life. It wasn’t until last fall that I moved to the outfield and so with Jake [Esch] being gone, there are some opportunities in the infield so I’m trying to be prepared for whatever our team needs next spring. Any way I can help I will.

STING: What is your ideal position?

SAM: I’m not really sure. All my life I played short and I loved it. I moved to the outfield and it was a completely different game out there. That’s a lot of fun, too. I don’t know if I have a favorite. I like both equally as well. They’re completely different points of view of a ball game. So it’s interesting to see the different sides.

STING: What are your plans for the rest of the summer?

SAM: The league ends the end of July. I’m just going to work out hard this summer, trying to put on a little weight and hopefully get some vacation time with my family. Just kind of relax before I get back to school and get back in the grind, again. I’m really trying to take it easy. Also I’m going to start fishing up here. I’m trying to get into some fly fishing. It’s a pretty good area for it.

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