'Jackets' Fairbanks Relies On Routine for Success

By KBJR News 1

April 10, 2014 Updated Apr 10, 2014 at 9:48 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- Walking into the batter's box is a work of art for UWS senior Tom Fairbanks.

"I have my on–deck routine which is how I stretch, how I hold the bat, what hand it's in," said Fairbanks. "Walking to the plate, it's in the same hand, and how I get into the batter's box. Look at the pitcher, all that stuff, is the same at every at bat."

It's not the first time the Brainerd, Minn. native has tried the routine, though.

It's just the first time Fairbanks says it's clicked.

"I tried to do it prior seasons but not as much as an emphasis on it. Some at bats I'd remember. Some at bats I wouldn't, but this year every at bat has been the same."

That might be the reason the 6'2" outfielder hit six home runs in his team's first 11 games.

First–year head coach Nick Bursik certainly thinks so.

"We do a lot when it comes to the mental approach," said Bursik. "When it comes to what they're going to be thinking about when they're in the box, what their routine is, taking deep breaths so they can handle any situation that comes to them."

Those situations also include dealing with an extended winter. The Yellowjackets have been stuck inside the field house all spring because of the bad weather.

It certainly hasn't slowed Fairbanks down at the plate though.

"The weather isn't the best up here for us, but traveling isn't too bad because in the end we get to play the game of baseball. That's what we all care about," said Fairbanks.

There are also 29 guys that Fairbanks cares about. Those are his teammates.

But in just a few short months, he'll have to say goodbye as his time at UWS comes to a close.

"It's going to be weird. This is the closest team I've ever been a part of. When I'm not around these guys, I think right now it's hard to realize that, but after it's really going to set in."

Posted by Sarah Wheeler
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