Journey leads new shortstop home

If his college baseball career were a road trip, it would be one filled with sharp turns and several stops before it reached its destination.

The journey that has brought Scott Holmes to Florida A&M University has been a well-traveled one since his prep days at Ocala Vanguard High.

The Rattlers’ senior shortstop has had collegiate stops at both Central Florida Community College and most recently at NAIA Palm Beach Atlantic last year.

Regardless of the changes in setting, one fact remains the same: where Holmes has gone, success has followed.

Kyle Forbes, head coach of Palm Beach Atlantic commented on Holmes’ decision to transfer to FAMU.

“He (Scott) was a great leader. I called him the quarterback of the defense. He was always in control and I was sad to see him leave,” Forbes said.

Forbes also pointed out that although Holmes was in the program only a year, he was instrumental in Palm Beach Atlantic advancing as far as they did in last year’s regional tournament.

“I never worried about Scott’s eligibility. He always went to class. He’s a model citizen,” Forbes said.

That reliability has translated into steady statistical progress for Holmes who hit close to.340 with 24 RBIs last year at Palm Beach Atlantic, but has already eclipsed that mark this year at FAMU, hitting close to .400 and leading the team with 30 RBIs.

“The third place hitter is usually the best hitter on the team,” said FAMU Head Coach Joseph Durant. Hitting third in the batting rotation, Holmes can be counted on to put the ball in play most times according to Durant.

Echoing Durant’s comments was FAMU senior catcher Donny Von Dolteren.

“Scott is a real clutch hitter that can come through for you, even with two outs,” Von Dolteren said.

At this point in the season, Holmes has no home runs, however Von Dolteren insists that this is not an issue.

“We don’t expect a lot of home runs from Scott. He’s a gap to gap hitter we expect to drive the guys in front of him home,” Von Dolteren said.

Holmes has hammered 12 doubles this season.

Although he plays at shortstop most of the time, Holmes is versatile in the field.

Holmes is capable of holding down the duties at third base and occasionally pitches.

Asked about his increased offensive production, Holmes credits the majority of his success to the speed of the hitters positioned in front of him in the lineup.

“Their speed is unbelievable. They are a threat to steal every time they get on base and because of that, I’m getting a lot of good pitches to hit,” Holmes said.

Despite his current offensive numbers, Holmes considers himself a defensive player first.

“I’ve always been better defensively and playing all summer long has helped me stay in a groove,” Holmes said.

While Holmes has enjoyed success at other collegiate stops on his baseball journey, he cited several reasons that influenced his decision to finish his collegiate baseball career at FAMU.

“I wanted the opportunity to play some big time schools,” Holmes said. Palm Beach Atlantic [the college Holmes transferred from] is not a Division I program.

Holmes also said that economic factors had a role in finalizing his decision to play for the Rattlers.

“Everything was expensive,” Holmes said concerning the tuition and living expenses at Palm Beach Atlantic. Holmes, who is currently on scholarship at FAMU, said that the university paying for his education helps him concentrate on academics as well as baseball.

Holmes and the Rattlers will need that concentration as they close out a home stand and get ready for a long 12 game road series.

The next home game for the Rattlers will be on April 17.