Brian Harris wasn’t just back at the top of Vanderbilt’s lineup last week. He was at the top of the heap in the Southeastern Conference.
The junior from Montgomery Bell Academy was named the SEC’s hitter of the week on Monday after he helped the Commodores to four victories in five games.
Harris has spent most of the season leading off for VU but was dropped down for several games recently as his average dipped below .300.
He returned to that spot last Tuesday and raised his average 25 points to .329 with 10 hits in 22 at-bats, including a pair of home runs.
“I think (the coaches) put me down (in the lineup) just to get better pitches to hit and maybe get my confidence back up,” Harris said. “I’m just trying to get good pitches to hit. Fortunately, I did. I was trying to put good swings on them, and (two) happened to go out.”
Both of his home runs came during the weekend sweep of Mississippi State. That was half as many as he had in 40 games prior to that.
He also had two doubles, drove in four runs and scored five times. His only walk of the week came with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the ninth and tied the score 3-3 Wednesday at Louisville, a game the Commodores eventually won in 10 innings.
Harris leads Vanderbilt with 30 walks in addition to being hit by a pitch 14 times, eight more than any other VU player. He also has a team-best 48 runs scored.
“He’s just been getting on base,” coach Tim Corbin said. “We made the move with Harris back to the top of the lineup and I think that was – obviously – the move right now. He can be that type of hitter because he looks at a lot of pitches, he gets deep in counts and he usually works in an ‘advantage’ situation.
“He did that all weekend, and we took advantage of it.”
Harris is the fourth Vanderbilt player to earn one of the SEC’s weekly awards this season. Aaron Westlake and Sonny Gray both have been freshman of the week, and Mike Minor was pitcher of the week.