GLENS FALLS — One of Connor Smith’s main goals for his summer with the Glens Falls Dragons was patience at the plate. So it’s sort of funny that he showed that patience awfully quickly.
Smith, a catcher who finished his redshirt sophomore season with University of Massachusetts, has as many walks (13) in nine games with the Dragons as he did in 35 with the Minutemen this spring.
“Laying off breaking balls in the dirt because I know if I go out of my zone, then I’m going to get out more often,” Smith said of his hitting goals. “I thought I struck out a little bit too much this year. That was a point of emphasis coming into this (summer) season.”
Smith struck out 35 times with UMass, where he hit .240 and scored 11 runs. So far with Glens Falls, he’s batting .233 and has six runs.
“Connor’s very cerebral and he knows what he wants to do at the plate,” Dragons head coach Nick Pontari said. “He’s got a good approach. He’s been on the ball lately, but he’s been on base, which has been huge for us.”
Smith also has two doubles, a home run and six RBIs. He had two of his better games this season prior to Wednesday’s game against Amsterdam. In an 11-5 win over Oneonta on Friday, Smith went 1 for 2 with a homer, three RBIs, three walks and a run. Tuesday night, he went 1 for 3 with a double and two walks in the Dragons’ 6-5 loss to Albany.
“Working on driving the baseball gap to gap with Connor,” Pontari said. “Through that, he’s having good at-bats, being selective with his pitches.”
“At the plate, I’m looking for something good to hit, and if I think I can hit it, I’m gonna swing as hard as I can, just try to make good things happen,” Smith said.
Naturally, Smith also wants to work on other facets of his game, including receiving the ball.
“Making everything look like a strike and maybe throwing a little bit. The main emphasis is on receiving. Everything in this game is reps, you’ve got to get reps the correct way.”
Smith has been playing consistently for UMass the past two seasons, so the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League schedule hasn’t been that taxing.
“The only difference between college and this is in college you can recover way better just because of the trainers you have and the equipment at school,” Smith said. “You don’t have as many resources here, but we make it work.”