Lake graduate Tim Decant recently completed his freshman season for the Owens baseball team by winning the coaches award.
Decant played in 41 games, had 44 hits, 11 doubles, five triples, 23 RBI, one home run, a .379 batting average and a .507 on base percentage. He also had 31 stolen bases in 31 attempts, almost three times as many swipes as the next highest total by Jared Gibbons, who had 11.
“When I play the game, I don’t think about what’s best for me,” Decant said. “I’m always thinking about what’s best for my team. I will do anything to put my team in the best situation to win. I think my coaches saw this quality in me and felt that I deserved this honorable award.”
Although Owens didn’t make the national tournament, Decant helped lead the Express to a final national ranking of No. 15, while they at one point reached No. 7.
“Honestly, going in this past season, I didn’t know what to expect,” Decant said. “As a hitter, I just wanted to hit the ball hard, get on base, and always be a tough out with every at bat. Defensively I wanted to make the tough plays and be someone my team could rely on to make outs.”
Decant, a business management major at Owens, was disappointed in not making nationals, but points to a young team that will be more experienced next season as a reason to be excited.
“I would have liked to have gone further in the tournament, but I feel our lack of experience held us back in the end,” he said.
Decant said that the team had 19 freshmen last season and the playing time they received will help them out a lot. Personally, Decant also carries with him what he learned while at Lake, which helps him be successful.
“I had been with Coach [Greg] Wilker for four years, and he taught me a lot not only about baseball, but about life and growing up. He is a very big believer in always doing the right thing. I carry this philosophy with me and with every decision I make.”
This summer, Decant is playing in the Great South League for the Gainesville Travelers – a team based out of Gainesville, FA. It is an all wood bat league.
“It’s the first league I have ever played in that is all wood and not metal,” he said. “I hope this will help me improve my swing for next season.”
Decant said he is also working hard in the weight room to improve his strength and flexibility. He feels that anything less than a trip to nationals and the JUCO World Series next year would be a huge disappointment.
“We definitely have high expectations for next year and are not going to take any game for granted,” he said. “We look to do big things.”
As the coaches award winner, Decant looks to help lead his team as a sophomore next year.
“I consider myself as someone who is going to work hard and give it my all each and every day,” he said. “I feel that I am a good teammate because I know when to joke around and have a good time, but I also know when to work hard and get the job done. I’m definitely not a rah rah guy, but I feel that I can lead by example, and that’s what I try to do.”