Bisson Continues to Be a Rising Star at UK
April 29, 2009
EDITORS NOTE: This feature story was written by UK junior infielder William Campbell, a journalism major in the University of Kentucky College of Communications. Campbell, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound slugger, has totaled 18 at bats, one homer and a .278 batting average before injuries pressed the Seattle, Wash., native into a limited role.
Written By: William Campbell
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A native of Orleans, Ontario, Kentucky second baseman Chris Bisson has had a dramatic impact on the UK lineup during the 2009 season, leading the team in nearly every statistical category.
After his freshman season at UK in 2008, Bisson knew the Wildcats were losing offensive fire power and consistent defense in the infield. After all, UK was losing two first-team All-American sluggers in Sawyer Carroll and Collin Cowgill, not to mention senior second baseman Ryan Wilkes, who earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors with a .374 batting average and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. During fall practice, Bisson started to emerge as a legitimate SEC infielder, showing the coaches that he could have a positive impact on the club.
“Ryan Wilkes was an anchor for the team last year,” Bisson said. “He was a senior, a leader and a real mature player on the field. Every time we needed a big play to happen we would look to him. He was a great role model for me and it helped by observing the way he played last year.”
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound, left-handed hitter, has solidified himself as a run producing machine in the UK lineup, currently leading the club with a .365 average, 66 hits and 46 RBI. That kind of offensive output may not have been predicted after a freshman season that saw Bisson grab just over 50 at bats and hit .156 in limited action.
Following his freshman campaign, Bisson traveled north to play in the New York Collegiate Baseball League, in an effort to grab at bats and gain some offensive confidence. While suiting up on the same team as UK teammates Spencer Korus, Mike Kaczmarek and Logan Darnell, Bisson excelled, grabbing 136 at bats on the year, batting .301 with three homers and 17-of-18 stolen bases.
“Playing time this summer helped a lot,” Bisson said. “Getting at bats and experience in the infield at the college level made me more competitive. I feel a lot more comfortable now then I did last year.”
One of the cornerstones of the UK recruiting philosophy is recruiting the best players throughout the country, as well as internationally. Bisson is one of several Canadian’s to have a positive impact on the program, joining current UK junior southpaw James Paxton and four-year pitcher Andrew Albers, currently in the San Diego Padres organization.
“The transition from country to country wasn’t the hardest part,” Bisson detailed. “The hardest thing is transitioning from any sort of baseball you have played, to the SEC. This is the most competitive league in college baseball and I am enjoying this opportunity very much.”
While serving as the team leader in most offensive categories, Bisson’s competitive edge has blossomed, so much so that Bisson leads the SEC in hits recorded in conference games, a total of 35 entering the series with Tennessee, which begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UK enters the series with the Volunteers trailing Vanderbilt by two games for the eighth and final spot in the SEC Tournament, held annually in Hoover, Ala.
“I have to continue to fight through thick and thin,” Bisson concluded. “It feels good to be a contributor on the team. I didn’t expect by any means to be in the role I am today. I am thrilled to be getting my opportunity to help the team out any way I can. Our team is filled with great players. I just have to continue to prove myself and hope things go the right way.”