CHARLESTON, W.Va. - For a two-way player, double the positions equates to double the opportunity, and Huntington High School graduate Anthony Brunetti has made the most of his chances this season with the University of Charleston baseball team.
Brunetti, a freshman known for his skills as both a pitcher and hitter/position player, first established himself as a reliever for the Golden Eagles, but with team injuries came opportunities for Brunetti to showcase his skills at the plate.
That's just what Coach Lee Bradley said his staff had in mind for Brunetti - excelling at the plate and on the mound.
"When we recruited him, we recruited him as a two-way player," Bradley said. "To be quite honest with you, we thought we were going to get - his better days were going to be on the mound, but we knew he would have the chance to play and has made the most of it, swinging a pretty good bat for us, getting some key hits in some key situations."
Brunetti opened the year as one of the team's relievers, but quickly asserted himself as a hitter, too, with four straight multi-hit games at the plate.
"I was pitching at the beginning of the year and I got a chance to hit in a couple of games and I did my job hitting wise," Brunetti said. "I went 2-for-3 or 3-for-3 for a few straight games."
Bradley said he was aware of Brunetti's talent at the plate, but expected the former Highlanders co-captain to make more contributions throwing strikes across the zone, not belting them out of it.
"We thought we were going to get the majority of the time with Anthony on the mound and really with some of the guys we had playing we didn't have a need for him to play a position," Bradley said. "He was going to best help us coming out of the bullpen, but we've had over the course of the season people get banged up and some guys can't play a little bit and he got an opportunity, and he made the most of it."
With injuries to other Golden Eagles players, Brunetti found playing time at third base.
In 24 games played, including 15 starts, Brunetti leads UC with a .458 batting average. He also ranks second in slugging percentage at .667, first in on-base percentage (.500) and is fourth with seven doubles.