Auburn, Ala.--One of the more experienced players on Auburn’s roster despite the fact that he’s never suited up for the Tigers, redshirt junior Luke Jarvis is ready for the challenge of playing in the SEC after transferring in from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif.
Playing two seasons in junior college with an injury forcing a redshirt as a sophomore, the 5-10, 183 shortstop has been a steady performer for Coach Butch Thompson since he arrived on campus. Now he’s ready to take the field in Auburn’s season opener on Friday when the Tigers take on George Washington University in the first of four games at Plainsman Park.
“We’ve been practicing since September and October,” Jarvis said. “I’ve been ready for this for a while. We had fan day (Saturday) and had a little bit of the crowd come out. I couldn’t be more excited. It’s going to be fun.”
A player the Tigers are building around on the infield along with fellow junior college transfers Joshua Anthony at third and Jay Estes at second along with returner Daniel Robert at first with true freshman Conor Davis chipping in, Jarvis said the group has spent a lot of time building chemistry to get ready for the season and he feels like it paid off.
“On Sunday we were out 45 minutes before we were supposed to stretch getting ground balls,” Jarvis said. “Coach Bo (Brad Bohannon) has been really fundamental in that and trying to breed that consistency and gelling together. It’s definitely been working well.”
Batting .371 last season with two home runs and a hefty .430 in conference play, Jarvis has shown the ability to swing the bat in the past. That has shown up so far in the preseason with the shortstop the most consistent hitter for the Tigers in addition to having a very good glove. He said right now it’s just all about trying to stay consistent and enjoy the moment.
“It’s just one of those things because baseball is all about highs and lows,” Jarvis said. “Right now I’m swinging it well. Really I’m just not trying to do a whole heck of a lot--finding ways to put good swings on it. I’m just more trying to enjoy it at this point, these little spots where the ball looks like a watermelon. Hopefully, it carries over to Friday.
It never hurts to be seeing the ball well going into the season,” he added. “I’m really trying to take game at-bats, put that pressure on so when you get to the game it doesn’t seem too big. Other than that it has been fun.”
With his game in shape and ready to roll into the season, Jarvis is excited about playing in front of the fans at Plainsman Park this weekend in the opener. That only builds towards SEC play, something he said he can’t wait to be part of.
“Are you kidding me, this is awesome,” Jarvis said. “This is about as close as it gets to pro ball. We had more people out for our fan day than you do for most junior college games. You can’t beat that. I’m just excited to get it going.”
Friday’s game vs. George Washington University is scheduled for 2 p.m. CST with a doubleheader set for 11 a.m. on Saturday. Sunday’s final game of the series is a noon start.