Daniel Montgomery Jr., who graduated from Boling High School, capped off a much-improved junior baseball season at Southwestern University with an All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference First Team selection.
“It feels pretty good. It’s pretty relaxing knowing that I accomplished something from all the hard work throughout the year,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery tied with teammate Byron Dowdell II with an SCAC-leading nine home runs. He led the conference with 46 runs and four triples and was second with 56 hits, 45 RBIs and a .665 slugging percentage and third with a .477 on-base percentage.
He had more extra-base hits this spring than his first two seasons combined while raising his batting average 99 points to .364 and his slugging percentage by more than double from his sophomore year.
During the fall, hitting coach Scott Lacey helped Montgomery change his entire swing to hit the ball harder and farther.
“I mainly focused on squaring up the ball and where I made contact,” Montgomery said, adding that Lacey encouraged him to get out in front of the pitch.
Montgomery hit two home runs and seven RBIs in a 13-7 win on March 9 against Mary Hardin-Baylor.
“It was an experience. I tied my hitting total for the year in one game. It was a lot of fun. I definitely enjoyed it,” he said.
Also, Montgomery refined his play at third base as his fielding percentage improved from .900 to .934.
“Definitely, being an upperclassman, everything comes easier,” the third baseman said. “My head coach [J.R. Bunch] told me to let the game come to me.”
The Pirates went 23-17 this season and won one of three games in the SCAC tournament.
Montgomery said the team will be aiming to make regionals next year.