Evan Colon is completing his third straight season on the Gaithersburg High School baseball team, but he only likes to acknowledge two of those spring campaigns.
After batting a respectable .263 with two doubles and 11 runs as a freshman, Colon slumped to .207 (just 12 hits in 78 at-bats) as a full-time starter in 2012. The slick fielding third baseman finished that 9-13 campaign with four runs batted in and four extra-base hits.
“My sophomore year, I slumped a lot. I was trying too hard,” Colon said. “I pretty much flushed down my sophomore year. It pretty much didn’t happen.”
Colon won’t soon forget his junior season, however, as last spring’s struggles with the bat have given way to this year’s dominance at the plate. The Trojans earned the top seed in this week’s Class 4A West Region playoffs with a 15-3 record.
“He’s been awesome,” Gaithersburg coach Jeff Rabberman said. “He’s always had the physical tools, but it’s the mental side of the game that has come around for him. He went through some struggles the last couple of years with his consistency and this year, he’s been nothing but consistent.
“He works extremely hard and he loves the game and all that hard work he’s put in is starting to pay off. He’s a great kid and he comes from a great family and one of the big reasons we’ve been so successful this year is because of how Evan’s played. He’s been rock solid at third.”
After being limited to one or no hits in 19 games last spring. Colon, during the regular season, collected at least one hit in all but two games with a pair of four-hit contests against defending Class 4A state champion Northwest and rival Quince Orchard to enter the playoffs with an impressive .564 batting average.
Of his 31 hits, Colon had collected five doubles and blasted a pair of home runs to go with 22 RBIs and 20 runs scored. He drove in a season-high four runs against James H. Blake on April 22 and he had three against Winston Churchill April 20 and Northwest April 4.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Colon has only struck out twice in 55 at-bats with nine walks to produce a .600 on-base percentage.
“I’ve just learned to trust my teammates more and just do my job,” Colon said. “I did a lot of summer ball and fall ball and during the winter, I kept hitting and hitting. I got a hitting coach and I’m just trying harder and practicing hard.”
Benefitting largely from Colon’s resurgence at the plate has been leadoff batter Nick DeCarlo, who led the team in runs scored with 21.
“I’m always just getting on anyway, anyhow,” DeCarlo said. “He has the confidence he can do it. I just have to get my speed up and run those bases. I love playing with Evan. I’ve actually played against him from [age] 6 to 12, [then] we came to high school together.”