There's never been a player at Illinois–Wesleyan who could hit like Ricky Angel.
"I consider myself a self made player. I wasn't the big star in little league or anything. I didn't even get a chance to play in high school until my senior year. I just developed a good work ethic."
Angel is the Titans' all–time leader in nearly every significant offensive category. And the ones where he isn't first – well, he probably will be by the time this season is over. But when Angel arrived at Wesleyan from Glenbard West High School he wanted to hit homeruns and tried to pull everything.
"I was pretty pull-happy when I came here. Coach Martel would get on my case about it and say, 'if you want to be real good, if you want to be a great one, you've got to go the other way.' I took his advice and it's nice to hit when you don't just use half the field."
Angel made the necessary adjustments and hit .360 as a freeshman. Last year he batted .452 . He's Wesleyan's all–time leader in hits, RBI's and total bases and boasts a lifetime average of .385 . And Titans' coach Dennis Martel says he works at it everyday.
"He's one of those kids that's literally the first one here everyday. I get to practice an hour–and–a–half before practice and he's already jumped the fence and is in the cage hitting off the tee. He's worked at it. He's become a more mature hitter, going the other way, doesn't try to pull everything. He doesn't try to do too much. Every swing is not a homerun swing."