Hollingsworth earns USA South Player of the Week behind 8 runs, 9 steals

Hollingsworth earns USA South Player of the Week behind 8 runs, 9 steals

Maryville College's Hayden Hollingsworth earned USA South Player of the Week, as the Scots swept Covenant College in the league series.

Hollingsworth – a sophomore second baseman – went 7-for-15 at the plate while swiping nine bases in the four-game week.

"He had an unbelievable week," Head Coach Cody Church said. "What he's able to do for us offensively – it's not always his hits. More so than anything, it's the runs he's able to score and how he's able to create runs by what he does on the bases. He's not the fastest runner that we've got, but the instincts that he has is something you can't teach. To steal the amount of bases that he did against the teams we played this week is unheard of. He just had a really, really special week for us."

That special week came as the Nashville, Tenn. native hit .467 with a .619 on-base percentage. He had a .533 slugging percentage, as No. 23 Maryville completed a 4-0 week.

Hollingsworth had eight runs scored, one RBI, a double, six walks and his nine stolen bases.

In a thrilling 8-7 win over Emory and Henry College, Hollingsworth was 1-for-2 with two runs and three walks. He stole three bases in the game, as MC held on late to hold off a Wasps rally.

On Friday night, the sophomore led MC to a 9-1 win over Covenant, as he went 1-for-3 with three runs scored and a pair of walks. The speedster swiped one bag in that contest, before having his most impressive game yet on Saturday.

In the first game of a double-header, Hollingsworth led the Scots to a thrilling 10-9 win over the Georgian Scots in 10 innings. Covenant scored three runs in the top of the tenth, before Hollingsworth stole home in the bottom of the inning as the tying run. An error on the double steal allowed Andrew Henry to score from second, as MC took the USA South game.

Hollingsworth had five stolen bases in the game, including two in the 10th inning.

"I don't know that I've ever seen that," Church said. "What he did throughout that game gave us a chance to win. Late in that game, I think he had two stolen bases for the win. He had a hit, stole second and stole home. It was a game changer. When he's on the bases, it definitely changes what we're doing offensively."

Hollingsworth went 4-for-5 in the game, as he scored a trio of runs and batted in another.

Finally, the second baseman went 1-for-5 in the final game of the series, as Maryville earned the sweep.

On the season, Hollingsworth has led the Scots to a 22-5 mark, as the squad is 7-5 in USA South play. He has scored a team-leading 28 runs, while holding a .305 batting average in the lead-off spot. The sophomore has drawn 23 walks for a .450 on-base percentage, while slapping in 10 RBI.

The speedster is closing in on the Maryville College record with his stolen bases, as he leads the nation with his 30 swipes. The sophomore is averaging 1.00 steals per contest.

"He's just a competitor," Church said. "It means a lot for our team, but for him, he kind of got thrown in the fire as a freshman – earlier than we ever expected him too. He didn't have the fall that he really wanted this year. He put a lot of pressure on himself in the fall, but finally, he just started playing baseball again when the season started up. It's good for him, and it's good for our program. We're just excited for what we're watching him do right now."

Maryville College will look for Hollingsworth to continue his dominance on the diamond, as the Scots step out of USA South play on Tuesday. MC hosts Berry College for a 5:00 p.m. first pitch.