Belmont’s Dylan Craig put the conference on notice with his first season in Nashville that he would to be a force to be reckoned with throughout his career in the Atlantic Sun.
In 2009, Craig led the Bruins in batting at .397, while recording a league-high nine triples and 92 hits – both program records. The standout season earned the Signal Mountain, Tenn. native A-Sun Freshman of the Year honors.
As his career continued Craig and his fellow six seniors have helped the Bruins and Head Coach Dave Jarvis to several program firsts including; the 2011 A-Sun Baseball Championship Title, two wins in the NCAA Regional – the first-ever victories for the institution in the Division-I era and the 2012 A-Sun Regular-Season crown.
Craig has left his mark on the A-Sun record books as well as on Belmont’s mantle, amassing 327 hits, 191 runs scored, 23 triples, 430 total bases and 942 at-bats. All of which rank in the A-Sun career record books, while his triple and hit totals rank first and fourth, respectively.
Friday’s game with Mercer showcased Craig’s all-around effort as the senior centerfielder recorded two hits, two runs scored and two putouts in center to help Belmont to its sixth A-Sun Championship win in the past two seasons.
“As you watch Dylan work on a day-to-day basis in practices and in games he is always mentally in the game and working hard,” stated Belmont Head Coach Dave Jarvis. “The thing that sticks out the most in my mind for Dylan is his consistency at the plate has been his trademark to go along with his speed from the left side of the plate prevents him from slumping.”
Throughout his career, Craig has been a stable force in centerfield as he has appeared in the starting lineup in all but one of Belmont’s contests in his four-year career and as Jarvis can attest it allows the Bruins Head Coach to rest easy.
“It’s a tribute to his work ethic in the weight room, his conditioning program and his toughness because there have been several games where Dylan has been a little banged up and he has played through it,” Jarvis added of his centerfielder. “One thing that has been a steady force throughout his four years here is when I write his name in on the lineup for centerfield I know that part of the defense is completely covered.”
Last season, Craig sat out the first game of a doubleheader on May 3rd for the first time in his career. It was a feeling unbeknownst to the senior and one that he hasn’t felt since as he has been in the starting lineup in all of the Bruins’ 59 contests this season.
“I love being out here and my body has adapted to playing every day and I get sore sometimes but I just push through it. It’s a good toll it takes on my body because I’m out here doing what I love and I have fun out here.”
With Craig covering center and leading off the lineup, Belmont is 2-1 at the A-Sun Championship and looking to become the first team to win back-to-back titles since 2006.
“Every year our team has improved since my freshman year and we have had a lot of young pitchers step up. Now I think we have what it takes and we have always had what it takes, but we are stepping up and playing together the way we should.”
However, the remainder of the 2012 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship plays out Jarvis knows the impact that Craig has had on Belmont’s program and in the A-Sun.
“I’m so proud that his career here at Belmont University has been a success and I’m so proud that he has been a Bruin.”