Coughlin Making Adjustments

With the first nine games of the season under his belt, senior catcher Sean Coughlin would have been the first person to point out that something just wasn't right.

Entering this weekend's series against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Coughlin was hitting just .270 with 10 hits and only one home run.

Those numbers pale in comparison to last season's, when as a junior last season Coughlin batted .325 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs. And for the senior who has spoken about his hopes to lead this team to Omaha, that is simply unacceptable.

This is why Coughlin spent extra time this week with head coach John Cohen studying what has been wrong with his swing.

"We've been working on my swing all week," Coughlin said. "I just haven't felt comfortable in the box. Coach Cohen and I worked real hard at making adjustments that just felt comfortable."

Coughlin and Cohen studied film of the catcher's swings to get to the root of the problem.

"We did a lot of film work," Cohen said. "Sean likes film work. Hitting is one of things that is a lot like golf. It is one of those scenarios where some guys love to watch themselves on film, and Sean is one of those guys, and some guys can't stand to watch themselves on film. You have to able to cater to both of those guys."

And what were their findings?

"Sean is bull strong," Cohen said. "He is just so powerful. But when he goes full effort in his swing he just can't find barrel. He just can't put the barrel where he wants it to be. For him it is all about taking the effort out of his swing and creating a better barrel angle."

"I was adjusting in the wrong parts of my swing," Coughlin said, "and coach Cohen made me realize a couple of simple things. I just needed to relax and go with the pitch."

Coughlin definitely looked more relaxed Friday night against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The senior went 2-for-4 against Panthers pitching, scored three times and drove in five runs to help lead the Cats to a 16-3 win.

"When he gets deep in the count and gets his pitch, he is going to have nights like he did tonight," Cohen said about Coughlin's day at the plate. "The ball didn't leave the ball park, but boy he stung a couple of them for sure."

Cohen said that since Coughlin was an All-American last season, pitching staffs are beginning to focus their game plans around him. Coughlin recognizes that he will probably be pitched around, and must be more patient with his approach at the plate this season.

"I'm not going to see the caliber of pitch I saw last year," Coughlin said, "so I just have to go with the pitch."

Despite the early season struggles, Cohen is excited and says it's a matter of when, not if, Coughlin will bust out of this small slump and come into his own offensively.

"In practice it is just remarkable the things he can do," Coughlin said. "You know it is going to happen in a game eventually."

AllWildcats Top Stories