WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. -- He knows he's still learning the game but Chillicothe's Derek Sprout is having a blast at Bradley.
Even if he isn't an everyday player.
"I need to learn the ins and outs of the game," said the BU sophomore. "Talk to older guys who've been around a long time. Learn from them and take the steps they've taken. And try to get myself more successful."
Sprout has played in roughly half of Bradley's 37 games as he tries to raise a .208 batting average.
"He plays with so much passion and energy that it rubs off on the rest of his teammates," said Bradley baseball coach Elvis Dominguez. "He plays every game with a lot of passion."
Sprout is fighting for playing time with the Braves at catcher and firstbase while still adjusting to the pace of college baseball.
"The speed of the game -- you get used to it over the 54-game season," said the former IVC High School star. "You get used to it and adjust and get better."
So while the young Sprout patiently awaits his turn to be a Bradley regular, he'll learn from the upperclassmen . And pull for them at the same time.
"Hopefully, we can make a regional this year," said Sprout. "It'd be nice to do something great for these seniors."