The transition from the world of high school baseball to the collegiate baseball diamond couldn’t have gone smoother for Newport Knights 2018 graduate Garrett Gants.
Gants, who batted .350 with 28 RBIs and three home runs during his freshman season with the Bellevue Bulldogs in 2019, was selected to the all-region baseball team that was voted on by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Bellevue College hitting coach/associate head coach David Olson wasn’t surprised Gants attained recognition for his stellar freshman season with the Bulldogs.
“He is just the kind of guy where you suggest something to help him out and he takes to it right away. To be fair with Garrett, there weren’t a whole lot of adjustments to begin with,” Olson said with a smile. “He was a very talented athlete for Newport High School, which is just down the road. We just work on the small things and did some fine tuning. We saw a rise in his power numbers this year. He really ran with it and that success bred confidence. It was hard to get him out down the stretch. He just soared with success. It was really fun to watch.”
Gants credited Olson for opening his eyes to new techniques.
“He has a lot of unique stuff that he teaches,” Gants said of Olson. “It was fine tuning certain things and just being more consistent. I was able to find the sweet spot more often and not striking out a lot. I wouldn’t consider myself a contact hitter but I have the attributes of a contact hitter.”
The 2018 Newport graduate is already looking to his sophomore season with the Bulldogs in 2020.
“We had a ton of freshmen that played a lot last year. We’re looking like we going to have a really good season and fight for the championship,” Gants said.
Olson believes Gants is a vital cog in the lineup.
“He will be a pivotal part of our team. I’d imagine he would probably be a commodity for some of the four-year schools out there. It will be fun to see where he can land and where he can soar to,” Olson said.
The Bulldogs baseball program is known for having a plethora of players land at Division-1 and Division-2 collegiate baseball programs following their two years on campus in Bellevue.
“That is what it’s all about. Our coaching philosophy is player development and wanting to see them achieve their goals. The wins and losses on the field are important. Learning how to play the game right is important but ultimately we want to see those guys move on (to the next level). That is what we take our pride in. I can see Garrett going to big places,” Olson said.