Shane Lewis looking for more consistency as he returns to Troy

Published 10:47 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023

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This past weekend, the Troy Baseball program got some positive news when Sun Belt Player of the Year Shane Lewis announced his decision to return to the program, rather than pursue the MLB Draft.

Lewis, a Vicksburg, Miss., native, came to Troy this past offseason after starting his college career at Chipola College. It didn’t take him long to get acclimated to Division I baseball, however, as he hit three home runs in his first three games. Lewis would go on to break the school’s single-season home run record and earn All-Sun Belt, All-American and All-Region honors along with being named the Sun Belt Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. Lewis’ hitting also helped propel Troy to the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional, as well.

With all of that success, hype surrounded Lewis and whether he would make the jump to professional baseball following the season. He decided, though, he would return to the place he now calls home.

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“It was definitely a tough decision, as far as the draft goes, it was weighing heavy on my mind and my heart for a good number of weeks,” Lewis said. “I had a lot to figure out, whether I wanted to come back or try to pursue my dream of being a professional player.

“After thinking about, I decided that this place is home to me now. I had a great year last year but I still feel like there are things I need to polish and fine tune and tighten up before I try to be a professional. I love this place and all the guys on the team and, like I said, Troy is home to me. It would have probably been different if I didn’t love Troy as much as I do.”

Lewis finished his 2023 season at Troy with a .286 batting average, six doubles, two triples, 27 home runs, 77 RBIs and 62 runs. Still, Lewis acknowledged he has plenty to clean up about his game.

“I want to become a better player all around, I want to learn more about the game and ask more questions of my coaches about how I can learn the game better and learn the game inside of the game, as far as hitting goes,” Lewis emphasized. “I want to become a better hitter and from a mental standpoint, I’d like to make sure I understand that the game is a very difficult game and it’s a game of failure. You will fail but you have to stay even keel. I definitely have to cut out some of the inconsistencies I had this year along with trying to match or play even better than I did, as far as the successes go.”

While Lewis had long streaks of success at the plate in 2023, he also had some slumps, as well. He’s concentrating on making sure he’s more consistent – on offense and defense – in 2024.

“I want to learn to be a more consistent all-around player instead of being a streaky hitter or people seeing me just as a hitter,” Lewis emphatically said. “I need to tighten up my defense in the outfield. I had some struggles there last year in some games. I also want to steal more bases, I only had five last year, and I just need to clean up my game all together and make sure I’m not being one dimensional.”

Ultimately, Lewis’ goal is to hear his name called in the MLB Draft but he’s shifting his focus back to some college goals.

“I just want to continue to impact this great community as much as I can, on and off the field,” he said. “We went to regionals last year, so that shows we’re a real squad and this is a real league in the Sun Belt. I want to make it to Omaha (the College World Series), that’s the biggest thing. I just want to win and I think that’s very achievable with this great team.”