April 22, 2011
A local Auburn fan might wonder why exactly junior infielder Dan Gamache came 1,160+ miles from Exeter, Rhode Island to Auburn, Alabama, but one thing is for sure, they are glad he did. Since arriving on campus in 2009 he has been a staple for this Auburn team with big hit after big hit. So far this season he is batting .326 with three home runs and 23 RBI.
Exeter, R.I., has a population of 18,614. There you will find a few historic and archeological districts, a beach and the only ski resort in the state, Yawgoo Valley. Though Gamache will tell you there is only one thing there, a lot of trees. When asked if it was hard in making the transition being so far away from home, he credited his team with being his other family.
"It was hard for me at first, but it got a lot better" Gamache said. "Had I come down here just for school I doubt it would have been the same feeling so I'm very fortunate to have these guys."
Gamache and his father have a good relationship that stems all the way back to when he was a child. His father used to bring him to his games and has remained consistent in making sure he succeeds. Because of what his father has done, Dan honors him by wearing #10 because that is the number his father wore when he played.
"He has always been there for me," Gamache said. "Even just being at his games, he would still coach me."
Gamache has a few hobbies outside of baseball similar to most college students, he likes to play ping-pong once in a while and also likes to listen to music, but what most people might not know is that he grew up playing hockey. He does not know if ping-pong or hockey helped in developing his swing, but he does know that Coach Link Jarrett has helped him improve on it.
"He has helped me in leveling out my swing," Gamache said. "I've improved on going opposite field with the ball, but also in hitting the gaps and driving the ball more."
The end of April seems to be where Gamache finds his power. Last season he hit seven of his eight home runs after April 27 and boosted his batting average to .408 in May. When asked if late April is something he looks forward to he noted that he is not superstitious.
"I think it's just a confidence thing," Gamache said. "I know what I'm capable of and I feel like, if I go out there and work hard good things will happen."
Before the seasons started there was much concern over how the players would respond to the new bats and how well they would perform under the new technology, but this Auburn team seems to be adapting to them nicely. They may not be hitting as many home runs as they did last season, but the hits and the runs are abundant.
"We can really put the ball into play," Gamache said. "We are hitting a lot of doubles and getting a lot of base hits, but when our short game is on, we feel unstoppable."
After being swept by both Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, the Tigers have now won six of their last seven SEC games by sweeping Kentucky and taking two out of three from LSU. Auburn seems to be sporting a new-found confidence and is primed to turn things around.
"I think we're ready to take off," Gamache said. "We have figured it out and it should be fun from here on out."
With only being a half-game out of first in what should be a close race for the SEC West, Gamache is confident that Auburn can stay in the race and close out the season on a high note. He likes how the standings are because it keeps the Tigers on their toes and ready to work, day-in and day-out. He feels fortunate to have such supportive coaches and a team where everyone gets along and works hard. When asked what he would like to take away from this season, his answer was more about the team than himself.
"I want this team to experience what we did last season," Gamache said. "Everyone is playing for each other and doing the best we can so hopefully we succeed."
by Michael Stagno, Auburn Media Relations
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