Eierman regains touch after a few adjustments

April 16, 1995|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

After batting .443 last season, Atholton's Brandon Eierman said he was frustrated by his 3-for-17 start this season.

"I was hitting the ball hard but right at people," he said.

That frustration ended last week when Eierman went 9-for-11 with two home runs, four doubles and 10 RBIs to earn recognition as one of three Baltimore Sun Metro Athletes of the Week.

"Everything just clicked last week like it did last season. I didn't even realize I had done so well until the end of the week," he said.

Eierman, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound senior right fielder who signed with East Carolina State yesterday, was batting .400 (12-for-30) through Monday's game. He has five doubles, two homers, 12 RBIs and a .767 slugging percentage.

He hit three doubles against league-leading Glenelg April 7, but his best game was a 4-for-4 day against Hammond April 5. He homered twice, doubled and drove in six runs against the Bears.

He thinks that hitting is a lot tougher this season than last.

"Last season I had the Schneider brothers batting behind me, and people didn't know who I was so I got great pitches to hit," Eierman said. "This year I get tougher pitches and have to be more patient. Pitchers always start me off with a curve.

"I think the keys to hitting for me have been a quick bat and attacking the ball early in the count, but I'm being pitched to much differently."

On the advice of private hitting coach Jerry Worgo, he switched to a lighter bat this season to improve his bat speed, and Eierman thinks that might have thrown off his timing a bit early in the season.

He has gone from a 34-inch, 31-ounce bat to a 33-inch, 29-ounce bat.

During the summer Eierman plays for the Columbia Reds and his coach last season, Larry Thompson, has the highest regard for ** Eierman as a hitter and player.

"He's hard working. His teammates respect him. He respects his opponents," Thompson said. "He's a consummate team player and not many people in the county can hit like him. He hits the ball hard every time up. He was only 16 when he played for our 17-18 team."

Thompson said he was told by Randy Kail, coach of the Bedouins, that the pros are considering drafting Eierman.

"And not many people know more about prospects than Kail does," Thompson said.

Eierman has above-average speed. He's 5-for-5 on stolen bases this season.

"I rely on getting a jump on the pitcher and trying to be smart on the bases," Eierman said.

As a fielder, Eierman knows he can improve, but thinks he must concentrate on one position. He split time between third base and outfield for the Reds.

His freshman year at Atholton he played shortstop, his sophomore year he caught and his junior year he played third base. This season he's in right field. He's also pitched and caught this season.

His arm is above average, and Atholton coach Kevin Kelly hopes to use him this year as a closer. Eierman started one game and is 0-1, but struck out six batters in 4 1/3 innings.

"One summer I played first base," Eierman said. "The outfield is fun, but I really like catching because you are more involved in the game."

Eierman grew up in Anne Arundel County and played for the Severn Athletic Club until he moved to Howard County at age 12. He played one season with Western Howard County and one season with HCYP. This will be his fourth season with the Reds.

He has a 3.7 GPA and plans to study accounting at East Carolina, where he'll be reunited with former Atholton teammate Shane Beaver.

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