BOLINGBROOK – Let’s not talk too much about last year.
Nick Sramek sure doesn’t want to spend too much time discussing his performances at the plate during his junior baseball season at Bolingbrook.
“It was a bad year last year,” Sramek said. “I’m not sure what was going on. I was really frustrated, and playing a new position (third base) last year added a little more to it.”
That was last year. Sramek entered this season with a clean slate and has gone about writing a totally different story, one in which he leads the Raiders or is tied for the lead in several offensive categories, including home runs (leader), RBIs (leader), runs scored (leader) and stolen bases (tied for the lead). After struggling last season, he worked hard to make sure his senior season would turn out differently.
“In the offseason, I got help from the coaching staff and we made some adjustments to my swing,” Sramek said. “I was flailing my shoulder out too much, so we worked on that and keeping my back elbow down, staying back on the ball and hitting it the other way.”
The hard work to get ready for this season has helped the frustration of last year give way to the sweet flavor of success this spring.
“It’s a great feeling,” Sramek said. “I always knew we could do it and the coaches knew I had the ability so to see the hard work transfer over to this season has been great.”
“This is the year he should have had last year,” Bolingbrook head coach Chris Malinoski said. “He was pressing a little bit last year, but his work ethic really helped him. He was really focused on doing things to get better for this season.”
It wasn’t just swing adjustments and putting last season behind him that has led to his success this season. His work in the weight room led to a noticeable physical change this spring.
“You stand next to him, you can see the strength he’s put on,” Malinoski said. “He just looks bigger and more physically imposing.”
Hitting in baseball can be there one minute and gone the next, but Sramek has produced all season. His consistency has given Malinoski one less thing to think about when filling out the lineup card.
“It’s nice to know you can pencil him in anywhere in the lineup and he’s going to produce,” the coach said. “And he can produce so many ways. He can hit it, obviously, but he can also bunt to get on, and once he gets on you can steal with him. He’s a threat regardless of how he gets on.”
Malinoski is more than happy with Sramek’s production this season, but the coach hoped he could have this kind of season last spring, if only to garner more attention from collegiate programs.
“If he put up these numbers last year, who knows who would have been knocking on his door?” Malinoski said.
Sramek looks to continue his career at the next level. He said he is in contact with a few schools at the Division II and III levels and hopes to make a decision on his future by the end of the season. Right now, however, Sramek is more worried about continuing his stellar senior season.
“Right now I’m just going to focus on what we’re doing this season,” Sramek said. “I just want to get more runners in when I have the chance. Driving in runners and getting clutch hits.”