Wingo making most of time in CPL

After grinding through a 10-game losing streak and bouncing back to win four of their last five games, the only thing hotter than the Columbia Blowfish team might be the bat of second baseman Scott Wingo. Though his time at Capital City Stadium will be limited, Wingo has not wasted the opportunity and is getting all he can out of his stint in the Coastal Plain League.

Scott Wingo wants to make it very clear – he hasn't been wasting his summer. For the first month and a half after South Carolina's season ended, Wingo and USC strength and conditioning coach Billy Anderson spent countless hours in the gym working to get the second baseman into better shape for the next season.

Along with his workout regimen, Wingo assisted the Gamecock baseball staff in youth camps at the University. But after a while, the rising junior decided it was time he went back to work on his skills rather than teach others.

"It's right to be in Columbia, I still can keep lifting with Billy and I just think it's the best place for me because I want to keep working out. I need to get stronger as much as possible. I've got to have a big year next year," Wingo said.

With conditioning not a problem, Wingo signed on with the Columbia Blowfish for the second half of the 2009 summer league season and hoped to use the opportunity to play as a confidence builder for next fall.

After batting just .196 during the 2009 season, Wingo took it upon himself to improve his time at the plate in the wooden summer league. His arrival didn't come without a scouting report as USC coach Ray Tanner sent former Gamecock closer and current Columbia coach Lee Gronkiewicz the full details on his second baseman. Though both Wingo and Gronkiewicz are new to Capital City Stadium, there is no doubt they're getting along quite well.

"He just said he's a good coach to play for and I like him. He's a funny guy and he's a good coach," Wingo said.

But for Wingo, the new opportunity didn't get off to the start he had planned.

Through his first four games, Wingo was a combined 2-for-13 with four walks and strikeouts. He had one RBI and one run scored. But like the Blowfish as a team, Wingo has been on a tear prior to the all-star break.

The Blowfish snapped a 10-game losing streak by winning four of the last five games they played prior to the time off. Likewise, Wingo began picking things up at the plate as he notched six hits, six runs, and four walks over the course of the July 12-15 stretch. That hot bat bumped his average from under .200 to a staggering .320 with a .360 slugging percentage. He has reached base safely in all but one of the games he has played in.

"I'm just working on my hitting. Just keep getting better everyday and that's what I'm going to do in the fall. I've got to hit and that's what I plan on doing," Wingo said.

While he has only seen time in eight games, Wingo is playing perfect defense and leads the team in overall batting average. And though racking up impressive statistics is nice, the experience isn't lost on the Greenville native who is enjoying his time on the diamond.

"I always want to work on my defense, but hitting has been my strong point of what I'm trying to do," Wingo said. "These guys are fun to be around and I want to have a good time, but I also want to work hard and try to get better."

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