Kortbawi streaks to GSC record


University of Alabama-Huntsville’s Vincent Kortbawi, a former Hale County High player, has a 37-game hitting streak, which ties a Gulf South Conference record. He goes for sole possession of the record today. (Photo by Submitted Photo)


Vincent Kortbawi is on the verge of etching his name at the top of the Gulf South Conference record book.

The University of Alabama-Huntsville senior third baseman and former Hale County High School standout has already tied the GSC mark with a 37-game hitting streak. He shares the mark with Andrew Whittington, who posted a 37-game hitting streak for Arkansas Southern in 2010.

Today, Kortbawi looks for a conference record 38-game hitting streak when the Chargers face Christian Brothers in Memphis.

"I did not hear anything about the Gulf South Conference record until the last week or so," Kortbawi admitted. "I knew I had a small hitting streak going at the end of last year and I wanted to keep it going, just see how long it could go."

The streak began in the second game of double header against West Florida on April 6, 2013. During that time he is hitting .412 (63-for-148) and has collected at least one hit against 16 different teams during the record-setting run.

"It’s hard not to be proud of something like that, but I can’t dwell on it though," he added. "The one thing about baseball is you have to have a short memory whether things are good or bad."

Prior to the streak, Kortbawi was hitting just .244 (30-for-123) in his first season with the Chargers. After going hitless in the first game of double header against UWF on April 6, Kortbawi went 1-for-3 in the nightcap and he has not stopped hitting.

UAH head coach Hunter Royer said Kortbawi really took off at the end of the 2012 season.

"He has always been a good hitter," Royer said. "He struggled a little bit early in the year last year and we kept working at it. There were a few things he was not doing correctly and he worked really hard with Coach (Evan) Bush and the second half of the season he really took off. "

He hit .414 (29-for-70) over the final 18 games of the 2012 season.

"A lot of it is his maturity," Royer said. "He has very good hands. He has very strong hands. The top three of four guys on your team in hitting are the same three or four guys that are always staying and doing extra work each day. He is one of those guys. He comes early. He gets in his tee work and soft toss work. He gets it done."

The streak and Kortbawi’s season almost ended without seeing a pitch. Kortbawi had surgery in the off-season to repair a torn labrum in his right arm. He missed the entire fall workouts and even thought he might have to redshirt this season.

"There was time this fall I thought I might not play at all," Kortbawi said. "It was pretty tough. You never know how much you miss something until you can’t do it."

He has played and been a major part of the Chargers success this season. He has hit .410 (32-for-78) in leading UAH to a 16-3 record in 19 games. He has recently moved to third base and thinks his arm will be even stronger when the weather finally warms up.

"I felt like I could play hitting-wise," Kortbawi said. "My concern was throwing the ball and see how my arm was going to do. The shoulder has held up good. It is starting to feel better. When the weather warms up it will be much better. The move to third has been good for the team and I am glad I did it."