Gateway: Sports

In first season at Marshall, Peninsula grad Hanon shows he belongs

Peninsula High grad Shane Hanon led the Marshall Thundering Herd in batting this season with a .342 average.
Peninsula High grad Shane Hanon led the Marshall Thundering Herd in batting this season with a .342 average. Courtesy

Everywhere Peninsula High School grad Shane Hanon has gone lately, he has hit the ball like crazy.

At Edmonds Community College in 2016, Hanon hit .379 out of the leadoff spot, which opened some eyes and earned him a 10-day contract on the Bellingham Bells summer league team of the West Coast League.

All he did was not only find his way onto the team full-time, but proceed to lead the entire league in batting with a .331 average.

His performance in the West Coast League earned him a visit to Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where he committed to shortly thereafter.

And as a redshirt sophomore as a center fielder at Marshall, guess what? He did it again.

Hanon led the team in batting with a .342 average, ranked 10th in Conference USA. He held the Thundering Herd’s longest hit streak of the season at 16 games, and reached base safely in a team-high 19 games.

“I’m just trying to get on base any way I can,” Hanon said.

It’s working, it seems. But the jump from community college to Division I baseball and Conference USA was a big leap at first.

“I struggled a bit when I first got to Marshall,” Hanon said. “I worked with the coaches every day.”

The biggest adjustment was having to adjust to higher-level pitching.

“One thing I learned is that when the game evolves, you need to, also,” Hanon said. “The biggest thing was trying to understand what the pitcher was trying to do and work off of that.”

So working on the mental part of the game took the most work. That involved more in-depth analysis of scouting reports and more talking with coaches and even the team’s own pitchers.

“A lot of it was just talking with coaches, understanding in-game tendencies of pitchers,” Hanon said.

Hanon said a highlight of the season was playing West Virginia University, a rival of Marshall’s. More than 4,000 fans packed Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park.

Hanon is studying clinical kinesiology and plans to be a physical therapist at some point.

Marshall finished 25-29 overall and 12-18 in Conference USA, a somewhat disappointing season for the Thundering Herd in 2017.

“We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to this year but next year should be good,” Hanon said.

Hanon is again playing with the Bellingham Bells this summer and hopes to continue improving.

“I just want to keep driving the ball a little better, steal more bases and just try to round out my game a little more,” he said.