After the Baseball at the Beach tournament in South Carolina during the last weekend of February, senior third baseman John “Brig” Tison was named CAA Player of the Week. Tison put up nine hits in 18 at-bats, five RBIs, four scored runs and three stolen bases. Defensively, he had two putouts, eight assists and one error.

Tison leads the team in multiple statistical categories, with a .448 batting average, .500 on-base percentage, six runs scored, 13 hits, two doubles, three walks and four stolen bases.

“Individual awards are nice to get, but I was more concerned that our team was headed in the direction that we wanted to go,” Tison said.

Tison started playing baseball when he was 4 years old, working with his father to build his skills.

“I played at a really good baseball high school — James Madison in Vienna,” Tison said. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue playing through college.”

Tison’s decision to play college ball has benefited him in multiple ways.

“I had kind of gotten worn down. But when Mason offered me a spot on the team, it all worked out. I’m close to home, and my parents are at every game.”

Being a student athlete has been a positive experience for Tison, who says it has kept him motivated.

“We are really busy. We play a lot of games,” Tison said. “You have to get your work done if you want to play. I’m not too worried about a social life. I spend most of my time with the team.”

After losing several players to graduation and drafts, the young Patriots team finished at the bottom of the CAA last season.

This year, the team is determined to work their way back up to the top.

“Our strength as a team is how badly we want to win,” Tison said. “We took last year as almost embarrassing, and we want to change that legacy.”

by Stephen Kline

The team will face their biggest rivals, JMU and UNC Wilmington, in April and May respectively.

Tison is hoping for fan support to carry the team through the season.

“I understand it’s hard to keep up and baseball is slow, but I think we have a chance to be really good this year,” Tison said.