Feature: Baseball's Brian Sherlock
April 29, 1998
He hails from New Jersey. He’s been a standout third-baseman since his sophomore year. He leads the Virginia baseball team in batting. He has the power to clear the centerfield fence, the arm to throw runners out before they reach 60 feet, and amazing fielding abilities. He plays in one of the toughest conferences in the nation and still manages to make the All-Conference Team. He’s a natural and it shows on the field and at the plate.
So who is this baseball standout? It’s Brian Sherlock the senior tri-captain who stands 5’10” and 185 pounds. To see him play is to see fundamental baseball come alive. He’s a prolific player both in the infield and in the batter’s box. “Baseball has been my passion since I was a little kid. I’ve dreamed of playing at this level and at the professional level since the age of 5,” recalls Sherlock.
Sherlock gave up football and ice hockey in high school to concentrate on baseball. As a senior he was offered scholarships from Seton Hall, Notre Dame and Texas A & M but chose Virginia to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference. “The transition from high school to college baseball was hard,” laments Sherlock. “I came here being cocky like all the other freshman and I quickly found out that I wasn’t the best anymore. I wasn’t bad, but the competition was a lot tougher because you have the best from everywhere here together competing for a position. I had to work ten times harder than ever before.” His hard work paid off and the dividends were a starting position at third base and the number three man in the line-up as a sophomore.
Not only has Sherlock been successful in earning the starting position, he is one of the tri-captains for this year’s team. Sherlock has always been a vocal leader for the Cav’s and has been very aggressive so it was only fitting that he be one of the captains. “I take pride in being a captain. The role of captain is tough, especially with a lot of younger guys on the team. I think I’ve done as much as I can to teach them and coach them to win and succeed in college baseball,” states Sherlock.
What’s the driving force behind this standout third baseman? Sherlock loves the game but his love for it has not been his only motivation. “My dad pushes me and encourages me to never be satisfied. Nothing has ever come easy for me. I’ve worked hard to be as good as I am and I attribute this to my dad. He’s the epitome of hard work and he tells me that it’s hard to stay on top but so easy to fall. I push myself to stay on top. That’s my motivation,” says Sherlock.
What makes Sherlock successful? Sherlock believes that baseball is a special game that has a mental aspect as well the physical aspect. “A lot of players neglect the mental and rely on the talent. Talent can only go so far. More than anything, I’ve realized the mental aspect and I’ve improved my game tremendously. I have a lot of confidence in myself. When it’s game time I’m concentrating on the game, one pitch at a time. If you keep the game at hand in perspective and not worry about what you did at your last a bat or the last play, then you’re on top of the game,” says Sherlock.
As the Virginia baseball season winds down Sherlock is hoping that he will have a chance to play major league baseball. “To make All-ACC would be outstanding. To get drafted to play ball would be my dream. I’m taking this one day at a time. If I don’t get the chance to play professionally, I’ll be happy with what I’ve accomplished. It’ll be disappointing to know that it’s all over, but God willing I’ll get that chance.”