Rounding the Bases with Phil Gosselin
Phil Gosselin has been one of the catalysts to Virginia’s 20-2 start this season. The sophomore from West Chester, Pa., leads the team and ACC with 32 runs batted in and is hitting .349, which is especially impressive when considering he started the year 0-for-16. He also has been a terror on the basepaths and is tied for the ACC lead in steals with 11. Today he takes a few minutes to sit down and talk about UVa’s strong first month as well some of his off-the-field interests.
Question: You have to be pretty pleased with the start to this season.
Gosselin: We’ve had a great start to the season. You’re not going to win every game that’s just how baseball is. We are happy with where we are, but we’re not satisfied. We have a long way to go and we’re only a third of the way through the season. We are looking forward to moving ahead and keeping it going.
Question: You had a rough start personally, but how did you break out of your 0-for-16 funk to start the year?
Gosselin: It was tough to start out that way, but we were winning so that made it a lot easier to deal with. I just kept telling myself to keep coming in and put your work in and the hits will start falling. They did as the season went on and it felt good to be able to contribute.
Question: But now you’re in a pretty good groove.
Gosselin: I’m seeing the ball well and they falling in for me now.
Question: Do you look at yourself as more of a run producer this year?
Gosselin: That’s the guys in front of me Jarrett, Tyler and the guys at the bottom of the order they are doing a great job of getting on. It makes it a lot easier to hit with guys in scoring position and on base all the time.
Question: How much weight did you put on from last season?
Gosselin: Probably about 10 pounds from last year. I’ve gotten a lot stronger. That has helped a lot this year with driving the ball and also with the explosion for stealing bases. I worked out a lot over the summer and in the fall. A lot of my numbers jumped up a lot, and a lot of the guys on the team were like that. You’ve got to give everybody credit for putting in the work.
Question: What kind of numbers are we talking about?
Gosselin: I think last fall, my squat max was 310 pounds, and I got 370 this fall. My bench went up about 15 pounds. We all worked really hard in the weight room and you can see the results with some more balls getting out of the park. There definitely is a correlation.
Question: You have started in the outfield as well this year. What has that transition been like for you?
Gosselin: It’s a change of pace. I did it a little bit over the summer, so it made the transition a little bit easier. It’s good and I like being able to play multiple positions because they have to be able to get other guys in there too depending on the pitcher. Second or left, it really doesn’t matter. I like playing both.
Question: Tell us about your Mohawk.
Gosselin: After the first weekend when I went 0-fer, Franco (Valdes) gave me a Mohawk. Every Monday he has given me another one since I’ve been hitting well. I’ll stick with it until otherwise. I love Franco he’s my barber now.
Question: What do you like to do outside of baseball?
Gosselin: I like to play video games. We’ve been playing a lot of spades lately Neal (Davis) and I are undefeated right now.
Question: Are there any other UVa sports that you like to get to in your free time?
Gosselin: I love basketball I played it in high school. John (Barr) and I have been to some soccer games. Lacrosse is exciting, but we usually have conflicts with our games.
Question: Do you have any hobbies?
Gosselin: I like to read. I read a lot of baseball books, mainly about the mental side. I’m also in the process of reading this book called “Left Behind” which is about the end of the world, kind of a religious theme. I like to be able to read just for fun. It’s good to be able to take your mind off schoolwork.