There are always a lot of adjustments to make and things to get used to. Each player has to work a little harder as everyone on his or her team was an all-district or all-state performer in high school.
Hinds Community College infielder and former Cleveland High School standout Marshall Boggs has worked hard and made those adjustments on the baseball diamond, as he has become one of the top players on a Eagles’ team that is currently 19-12 and tied for the top spot in Mississippi’s South Division after the end of the team’s doubleheader split with East Central on Tuesday.
Boggs, who posted a career batting average of .396 at CHS, said he has enjoyed the challenge of playing college ball.
“Everybody here and everybody that you play against are the same as you and better than you,” Boggs said. “Nobody is a bad player. Everybody is good to get here.”
Boggs has had to overcome some adversity in getting ready for the season. He had o undergo rotator cuff surgery on his throwing shoulder in August and wasn’t able to workout with the team until November.
“I went to therapy and started going every day and working hard with my therapist trying to get my shoulder back,” Boggs said. “When I was able to lift after I got released, I started working out three times a week to get ready for this baseball season.”
Hinds Community College head baseball coach Sam Temple said the injury put Boggs at a disadvantage in getting ready for the season.
“Marshall wasn’t really able to participate in fall baseball for the most part,” Temple said. “Most of fall was rehab, and he was cleared to get back into some light hitting and some light throwing before we left for the holidays. Marshall had to do the bulk of his work to get ready for the season during the holiday break, and I think he did a great job of preparing himself during that time. The holidays are a off time for these guys before the season starts, which is such a demand on them. Marshall really had to go to work.”
Boggs played shortstop at Cleveland High, and was slated to play shortstop and maybe third base at Hinds. The injury forced Temple to move Boggs to first base because he would do less throwing which would rest his shoulder.
“We knew that it was going to take a majority of the spring and maybe take all the way into sometime this summer before he gets back to full strength in his throwing arm,” Temple said. “We didn’t want to push that and wanted it to come along gradually, but we knew we needed his bat in the line-up. That’s where the move to first base happened. It was just to take the stress off his arm.”
Boggs said playing first base is different from playing the other side of the infield.
“It’s a big transition,” Boggs said. “You’ve got to learn the game from a different angle. You learn how to play the game a different way than you were taught from before.”
According to Temple, Boggs’ throwing shoulder has gotten better and stronger. Temple couldn’t be more proud of how Boggs has played first base.
“First base was a good spot for him, and he’s done a fantastic job,” Temple said. “We do have high hopes for next year that he can move back to his natural positions (shortstop and third base), but from a recruiting standpoint we’re very happy he has first base on his resume to.”
Boggs said playing first base has helped rest his arm, and he feels fortunate to playing on the college level.
“However I can get in the line-up and whatever helps out our team, I was willing to do it,” Boggs said.
The effects of the injury, however, haven’t damaged his swing at the plate as he is hitting .356 (32-for-90) with a home run and 17 RBs going into Saturday’s doubleheader with Southwest Community College. He also has 11 doubles and a triple.
“It’s been going good,” Boggs said about his ability to swing the bat. “Drills everyday, getting in the cages and hitting on the field has played a big part in my success.”
Boggs said hitting is something that coach Temple takes pride in.
“Coach Temple has drilled us day in and day out about hitting,” Boggs said. “We’ve hit every single day. You’ve got to be able to hit to stay in the line-up, and if you don’t you won’t be able to play.”
Temple said Boggs has established himself at the plate.
“From the very start, Marshall proved himself that he is a hitter at this level and has done a great job at hitting anywhere from the four to five hole for us on an everyday basis playing first base,” Temple said.