Rounding the Bases with Phil Gosselin
Phil Gosselin has been one of the Cavaliers’ hottest hitters to start the season. He ranks second on the team with a .451 batting average and leads the team with 23 hits through three weeks. He seamlessly has moved into the Cavaliers’ leadoff position and has been UVa’s top basestealer, with five thefts already. He talks with VirginiaSports.com about a wide array of things as the Cavaliers prepare for a busy week on the road, with a midweek contest at William and Mary and an ACC series at Florida State.
Talk about the team’s strong start so far.
Gosselin: For the team, we’ve been coming out and jumping on teams early. In the games where we fell behind, we haven’t panicked and we were able to put together some runs and come back. The biggest thing is being confident and not panicking when you fall behind and try to jump on teams when you get the chance.
How about you personally? You’re hitting just under .500 so far.
Gosselin: Things have been going my way. Baseball is a funny game like that. I just try to have good at-bats and sometimes even when I’m not hitting it well, it’s finding holes. You try to enjoy it while they’re dropping for you because it will even out eventually.
How has your transition been to the leadoff role this year?
Gosselin: It’s been good; I like to get up there and try to set the tone for the offense and get on so the guys behind me can drive me. I like it a lot and it’s been a good transition.
Do you like the fit?
Gosselin: Definitely. I think I can steal some more bases than I did last year and get us going in the running game. I can also drive the ball and see some pitches.
How much weight have you put on in the last year?
Gosselin: I’ve put on five to 10 pounds in the offseason. I’ve gotten stronger with my squat and bench, and I definitely think that has helped me this year.
What was the Cape Cod League like for you last summer?
Gosselin: It was a lot of fun. Getting to play with Dan (Grovatt) was cool and it was nice to know someone there. There were a lot of ACC guys there and I lived with Stuart Tapley from Florida State, so I’m excited to see him this weekend. It was cool being on the same side as a lot of those guys. Playing against some of the best competition in the country was a great test baseball-wise.
How tough is it to play with other ACC players when you have to go against them to rest of the year?
Gosselin: It can be tough, but you put that all off to the side when you’re on the field. It’s all business there. Off the field you know they are good guys too, but once you’re on the field you have to go about your business.
How have things differed for the team this year? As a team, you are more of the hunted rather than the hunter this season.
Gosselin: It’s not too much of a difference. I think it’s a new challenge that we have all welcomed. Last year was a challenge to prove that we were good and could play with the best teams in the country, but now that we proved that we could do that for a season, this is a new challenge that we have embraced.
Talk about being a mentor to the freshman infielders.
Gosselin: The freshmen have been great. I am not a real vocal guy, so I just try to lead by example and they’ve done a great job of listening to everything we have had to say.
How many times have you been asked about Stephen Strasburg since you hit the home run off of him in regionals?
Gosselin: Probably a thousand times. It’s the first thing everybody asks me, but it’s pretty cool and I can appreciate it. He’s a great pitcher obviously and one of the best college pitchers ever. It’s something I’ll always remember and be able to tell my kids about.
You’re an economics major – what do you see yourself doing with that?
Gosselin: I’m not really sure – something in the business world. My dad is in the insurance business and my brother is in the insurance business. I know that’s not really related to economics, but they both seem to enjoy it so I could see myself going into that.
Spot on Grounds: The Corner
Baseball Memory: Omaha
Class: Financial Markets
TV Show: Entourage
Music: Oldies, like Beach Boys or Billy Joel
Movie: Remember the Titans
Sports Teams: Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles
Celebrity: Eva Longoria