FIU Infielder Bags Berth on NCAA's All-Time Hit List - NBC 6 South Florida

FIU Infielder Bags Berth on NCAA's All-Time Hit List

Panther Garret Wittels will attempt to tie the NCAA's 2nd-place hitting streak tonight



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    Florida International baseball player Garrett Wittels poses for photos while sitting in the dugout on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, in Miami. The FIU infielder wasn't even supposed to be a starter this season, and now his 38-game hitting streak is the longest in Division I since 1999. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

    Let's see: no. 14 Miami beat no. 1 Virginia to extend its home winning streak to 18 games; FIU softballers just swept their conference awards, and the Miami-Dade Sharks are one game into the national softball tournament.

    Yep, we're pretty good at things with bats and gloves. But some are still better than others, and Florida International sophomore Garret Wittels now has the record books entry to prove it.

    With a double to center last night against Florida Atlantic, the Bay Harbor Island native claimed third place in the NCAA all-time hitting streak list with his 46th consecutive game with a hit. Wittels finds himself just one ding behind Wichita State's Phil Stephenson and his 47-game streak of 1981, and 12 behind the 58-game world record owned by Oklahoma State's Robin Ventura since 1987.

    42 hits: so yesterday

    The kicker? Wittels wasn't even expected to start this season.

    “Last year he was a freshman and really struggled getting used to the college life,” former FIU player and current Orioles prospect Tyler Townsendtold “He showed signs of being a real good hitter."

    "It takes a lot of skill. It takes a lot of luck. It takes a lot of baseball gods being over FIU or wherever we're playing on the road I think sometimes, too," said FIU head coach Turtle Thomas. "I'm telling you, if it came down to getting a hit in the ninth inning this Friday night...or us winning a game, he would pick us winning the game, every single time."

    "Individual accomplishments are great in baseball and sitting alone in third place on the hit streak list is pretty cool," Wittels acknowledged, "but the biggest thing is we got a win over a tough team in FAU."

    Wittels, who has vowed not to cut his hair until the streak is over, will get his chance to tie the second-place record tonight at 6:30 at FAU stadium. But FIU has just two regular season games left, so if all goes well, he'll have to aim for the no. 1 slot under the added pressure of the Sun Belt conference championships and the College World Series.

    But despite Wittels' newfound ESPN popularity, Townsend hasn't yet called his former teammate to talk all things streak.

    "I don't want to jinx him or anything."