Slugger Blake Griffith aims for big senior season

Griffith+swinging+at+a+ball+vs+the+UIC+Flames.+Griffith+is+entering+his+final+season+as+a+Golden+Grizzly.

Photo Courtesy of OU Athletics

Griffith swinging at a ball vs the UIC Flames. Griffith is entering his final season as a Golden Grizzly.

Matthew Scheidel, Sports Editor

Oakland University baseball player Blake Griffith is ready to let his play on the field do the talking. 

“I’m excited for the season and I’m ready to get started,” Griffith said.

Griffith, a redshirt senior majoring in accounting and minoring in finance, was able to stay loose this offseason by working out at home. 

“The gyms were closed so I would try to stay focused and do what I [could] at home,” Griffith said.

When Griffith steps into the batter’s box, he tries to hit the ball to the right center field gap. Griffith has a career .289 batting average, nine career home runs and a career OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) of .850.

“It keeps me from flying out [over the plate],” Griffith said. “It just [allows me to] keep my hands inside the ball.”

Griffith led the team last season in home runs (two) and total bases (21), and he tied the team lead in runs batted in (eight). He ranked second in hits (13) and doubles (two), and third in batting average (.310)

Griffith said he’s been working on his defense and  two-strike approach at the plate. Griffith had three errors in 12 games last season before it was canceled, due to the pandemic.

“I think I’ve done a good job of [improving my defense] this offseason,” Griffith said. “I do strike out a lot, but that’s what happens when you try and shoot for power.”

In his free time, Griffith enjoys watching sports and playing video games.

“I love hanging out with the guys and watching whatever game is on,” Griffith said. “Sports are basically my life. I also like playing Call of Duty.”

OU baseball Head Coach Jordon Banfield said Griffith’s experience is going to be very valuable this season.

“[Griffith] is one of the only guys we have that has [played this long] at the Division I level,” Banfield said. “He’s a guy that we can put in the middle of the lineup and [he will] drive in runs. As simple as I can put it, that’s the expectation for Blake — to put together quality [at-bats] and be a guy that we can count on.”

Banfield said he expects Griffith to lead by example.

“Everybody leads in their own way,” Banfield said. “I expect Blake to lead with his play on the field. He’s made huge strides on defense. All the reports I got were that he had a lot of room to grow defensively at first base, and the progress he’s made from the fall until now has been awesome. He’s pretty good feet for an older guy, he’s got things figured out. He’s been really receptive to coaching in that respect. We just need Blake to play well and do things the right way.”