By ANTHONY SHINGLER | Senior Staff Writer

The 2010-11 Govs baseball team roster has 12 freshmen on it.

Among those, one freshman has gotten a great start to the season and is making his mark on the team.

Outfielder Rolando Gautier is creating a buzz.

Gautier is currently third on the team in hitting with a .352 batting average.

He has 31 hits with one home run, 14 RBIs and 12 walks.

He is also second on the team in slugging percentage at .511.

“Ro has been really good and really consistent all year,” said head coach Gary McClure.

“He is not playing like a freshman, the thing he is doing to make him good offensively is not swinging at bad pitches.”

Gautier opened his collegiate career with an 18-game hitting streak. It ended Sunday, March 27, against Murray State.

“I was just doing what they teach us: get the foot down, see it up; and I was just hitting balls that were falling in for me,” Gautier said.

“I felt great at that point and I still feel pretty good.”

Even though Gautier’s hitting streak has ended, he has reached base in 24 consecutive games.

That streak was extended after the Govs picked up the series win over EIU.

“He is making people throw strikes and drawing a lot of walks with it,” McClure said.

“I am really proud of what he is doing. He is a kid who I thought was really going to play right away when we got him. So far he has proven me right.”

On Saturday, Feb. 19, Gautier got his first start.

He had a breakout performance at the plate in his first game.

He went 5-of-6 with two doubles. It was the first five hits of his 18-game hitting streak.

Gautier has started in 23 of the Govs’ 25 games played so far this season. TAS