Dennison turning heads
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, June 1, 2016
When former Charles Henderson Trojan Joey Denison returned to Troy, he set his sights on making an impact on the Troy University team. Today, he is one of the team’s top offensive threats.
Denison, who transferred to Troy after spending two seasons at Southern Union Community College, enjoyed his first year as a Trojan.
“This season was a lot of fun,” Denison said. “I started the year kind of slow but finished strong. I was curious to see what the competition level was going to be like at this level.
“I was able to hang out with a great group of guys. Being able to go to some of those venues was awesome. We got to go to Alabama and Auburn. There were great venues and great crowds.”
Denison finished the 2016 campaign with a .322 batting average with seven homeruns and 37 RBIs, but it wasn’t easy at times for the junior. Denison batted as low as .204 at the beginning of the season and leading into conference play.
“I just had to get comfortable and not press so hard,” Denison said. “I started the year stressing a little bit, and I was kind of getting outside of myself. Midway through the season I started to figure out how to stride and it felt good the rest of the season.”
As the season transitioned into conference play, Denison’s batting average climbed. By the time the regular season came to a close, Denison had raised his batting average 113 points and also hit for power by smashing seven homeruns after conference play began.
“I struggled a little bit against Lafayette and then we went off to Georgia Southern and I had a really good weekend,” Denison said. “That was really the first conference weekend where I shined. After that it kept coming and I got my confidence up. That was really the turning point of the season.”
For his performance, Denison was named second team All Sun Belt Conference in 2016.
“It was a great honor,” Denison said. “I was really happy. It’s really neat to be called All-Conference in the Sun Belt. That really wasn’t one of the goals I set out for at the beginning of the season. We sat down with Coach (Mark) Smartt and made goals, as far as what I wanted to hit, the amount of homeruns and doubles, things like that. I accomplished those goals. By accomplishing those goals I was able to be named All-Sun Belt.”
This season was all about having fun for the outfielder, and the opportunity to play baseball with former teammates and friends Chase Smartt and Houston Mabray was icing on the cake.
“It is awesome to be able to play on the same team as Chase and Houston again,” Denison said. “Those are great teammates and great friends of mine. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play with those guys again.”
With the season now at a close, Denison can look ahead to his senior season with a year’s worth of experience within the conference.
“For me looking ahead to next season, there will be nothing that I haven’t seen,” Denison said. “There won’t be any situations that I won’t be ready for. I will be come into next year and hopefully pick up right where I left off. I think all the guys are hungry to come back next year. We felt like we could have done more in the Sun Belt Tournament, but we still finished strong and we are ready to get back at it.”