Central's Nilsen an Offensive JuggernautPosted: Updated:
ELLENSBURG, Wash - He's not the biggest guy on the field and he may not be the fastest, but Central Washington's Jamie Nilsen is definitely the most explosive.
In last weekend's series against Montana State Billings Nilsen hit his 22nd career home run, breaking a 20 year old school record. "It felt great. I hit kind of a slump when I tied the record so now it's nice to have that monkey off my back," says Nilsen.
But home runs aren't Jamie's only specialty. "If he doesn't lead in every offensive category right now he will by the end of the season," says Wildcats head baseball coach Desi Storey.
So what makes Nilsen so good? Honesty, it's probably his simplicity. "I just go up to the plate, try to see the ball as best as I can and I've been lucky that they've been finding the holes," says Nilsen. Not many superstitions for this senior either. He'll keep the same helmet as long as he's hitting and switches it if he hits a slump. He also changes up which side of the bat he uses, but that's about all.
Just like all good things Jamie's success didn't come easily. Nilsen wasn't on coach Storey's radar out of high school and ended up walking on his freshman year. Now, coach Storey doesn't want to see him go. "We won't be able to replace Jamie. We're going to try our hardest to go out and find a player who can compare to him but he's one of those players that only comes along once in a long while. He's irreplaceable."