Sophomore right fielder Matt Fiedler was used sparingly last season, making 21 appearances as a role player. Now, he's the best hitter on the team.
Fiedler has the 11th best average in the Big Ten this year, batting .346 in 104 at-bats with a .421 on base percentage.
Fiedler described his freshman season as a learning opportunity to get acclimated to college baseball. He only had 46 at-bats — collecting 14 hits — and served as a relief pitcher. After meeting with head coach John Anderson in the offseason, he switched from third base to the outfield, knowing there would be a better opportunity to start at the position of need.
The Eagan native leads the team with 20 RBI, 13 walks, 10 steals and a .510 slugging percentage. Fiedler said he improved his mechanics this year, using the same high leg kick at the plate as he does on the mound, and intentionally slowed the game down at the plate to break up the pitcher's rhythm.
"I've just tried to be more aggressive and gone back to my high-school approach of having that confidence up there and not really worrying about what the pitcher is going to throw me," Fiedler said. "I'm just looking for something to drive early in the count and that's paying off for me."
Fiedler still serves as a relief pitcher with eight appearances this year. He leads the team with a 1.80 ERA, allowing two earned runs in 10 innings pitched. He's 1-0 with a save.