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BCC's Chris Dennis Nationally Ranked in Four Baseball Categories
February 26, 2013 - Baseball is a game of streaks and right now Brevard Community College sophomore shortstop Chris Dennis is on one.
Dennis is nationally ranked in NJCAA Division I in four offensive categories: third nationally in hits with 29; tied for 12th with 7 doubles; tied for 10th with three triples and tied for 10th with 18 runs batted in.
The Rockledge High graduate game in and game out is the Titan most likely to have the dirtiest uniform. From sliding into bases or diving for ground balls or line drives he simply plays the game the way it should be played: hard.
And his numbers reflect it.
Even more interesting is that Dennis is excelling after taking two years off from baseball and his education following his 2009 high school graduation. Once he decided to resume college and playing he worked out religiously with fellow Rockledge graduate and Major League Baseball draftee Beau Taylor to regain his form.
It worked. He attributes his success to his approach.
"Every at bat, I'm not trying to do too much," he said. "I am looking at more of a team at bat than something for personal success. If you look at it that way as a team approach you eventually have personal success."
Also part of that approach is a drive to excel and win bred by his experiences in playing on winning teams at a younger age.
"It drives me to want to help the team win as much as possible, just get us back in the winning column every game," he said. "That's the most important to me."
Conversely of all games baseball is a game where winning can be at a premium and not succeeding – or failing - is part of the process.
But Dennis doesn't see it that way.
"I don't look at it as failing if I don't get a hit," he said. "I just tip my hat to the pitcher. Usually you have to have a pretty good pitch to get me out. I accept that and just try and come back my next at bat with a better approach.
"It's one of the things I do best, swing the bat and make contact a lot of the times. Trying not to strike out as much and put the ball in play. That's going to get you a lot of success."
But that's not to say Dennis is a one-dimensional player concerned only with his offensive production. He takes his efforts in the field just as seriously.
"I'll tell you if I'm 3-for-3 with three home runs and I make an error in the field it's still going to bug me," he said.
"I think defense wins more ballgames than offense does. I kind of take it as two different approaches. If I have a bad at-bat try and get it out of the way in the dugout and then by the time I get to the field and have it out of my system."
He is well aware of his national rankings thanks to his father Dan Dennis closely following his progress, but maintains he would trade the rankings for more victories.
"It doesn't matter what I do personally," he said. "If we don't win nobody's going to get noticed."
BCC head coach Jeff Tam is certainly aware of what Dennis brings to the team offensively and in the field.
"Chris has been a rock for us," Tam said. "He plays the game the right way and we as a coaching staff appreciate his efforts and his leadership, especially as we begin our conference schedule.
"He approaches every at bat and every play in the field with the same intensity which is what is required for success at this level."