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Richter breaks out of slump in big way

April 10, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Before last week, Imperial Valley College baseball player Jake Richter had been in a bit of a slump at the plate.

Richter started putting in extra work before and after practices in the batting cage. The result was a four-hit, eight-RBI performance in two games against San Diego City college last week.

His bigger game was April 3 as a two-run walk-off home run powered the Arabs to an 8-6 Pacific Coast Conference victory over San Diego City. He finished 2-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs.

He followed on Thursday with two hits and three RBIs in IVC's 6-3 win over City.

"I started the season pretty good, but then I went into about an eight-game slump," said the 19-year-old freshman from Southwest High in El Centro. "But then I started putting in time in the cage and it just paid off."


Hitting in the No. 3 spot, Richter has had some pressure to perform in clutch situations.

"I was (designated hitter) in the first game against City and I felt a little pressure on me to come through," Richter said. "Even though I felt some pressure, I just tried to relax and not think about the situation at all. Having a clear mind at the plate made things easier."

With Richter's heroics, the Arabs are 6-11 in PCC and fighting for third place and a shot at the postseason.

While he came through with a two-run bomb last week, Richter said hitting for power is not his game. He just tries to connect and drive in runs. While Richter thought he was in a slump before last week's games, coach Dave Drury didn't think that way.

Said Drury: "When Jake says he was in a slump … there's a lot of guys who'd love to be in that kind of slump. He was still producing, but he's set the bar so high for himself that to him, it was a slump."

Added coach Jim Mecate: "Jake's put in a lot of work trying to improve his hitting. He comes to practice early and stays late just working on that. That more than anything is the reason he was able to do as well as he did. In order for him to maintain that success he's going to have to continue to work hard."

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