Monarch Feature: Senior Tyler Urps
Last week at the Conference USA Tournament, the ODU baseball team had a plethora of players step up. The Monarchs played five close games that needed different players to step up in big moments. One of those players was senior shortstop Tyler Urps.
Urps came into the tournament hitting .237 hitting in the No. 9 spot in the order, but he was on fire in Hattiesburg, going 7-for-17 with a team-high .429 average to earn All-Tournament honors.
“I worked on my swing after the last weekend series against Long Island and just made some small adjustments and got some big results,” Urps said. “I just wanted to keep it simple.”
His biggest moment came with his shortest hit of the tournament, but his two-out dribbler up the first-base line drove in P.J. Higgins to give the Monarchs a 3-2 win over No. 16 Rice and all but lock up an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.
“It definitely felt great. It was a team win, everyone did their part and it felt amazing,” Urps said. “It’s funny because sometimes the balls it the hardest are outs and the one that doesn’t leave the infield wins the ballgame.”
ODU went 3-2 at the C-USA Tournament and had to wait until the final eight team were called during the selection show on Monday. It was nerve-wracking, but the packed crowd at University Pizza erupted in excitement when ODU’s name came on the board.
“I was confident that we were going to get into the tournament but seeing it officially I was ecstatic,” Urps said.
A transfer from Yavapai Junior College in Arizona, Urps has been a two-year starter for the Monarchs at shortstop. He knew it was the place for him when he visited and he has not regretted it.
“ODU has a good program and I heard a lot of good things about it. When I first touched foot on this campus I knew it was where I belonged,” Urps said. “ My time here has been a blast. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I’m happy to have ODU going across my chest and play ball every day for Coach Finwood.”