Baseball swings for fences

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Baseball swings for fences

Josh Dean

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New recruits load up baseball roster with talent 

After a year of waiting America’s past time is back. From a diamond in a Denver Bronco ring to a diamond in the sand the end of the super bowl hails the start of baseball season.

The squad will take to the field after months of practice and training in a clash with Southeastern Friday.

Junior Nathan Reynolds feels optimistic about what he’s seen.

“Practice has been going well. We’ve been having a lot of practices where things are broken down such as hitting. Being a transfer there’s a lot of upside to look at,” Reynolds said.

The team has gotten back to the basics this offseason.

More time has been devoted to practicing bunting, small ball, and  base stealing.

Game time situations have also been given greater attention.

The Warhawks come off of an exciting off season which saw the signing of Nathan Reynolds, Tyler Cox and Derek Martin among others.

Head coach Bruce Peddie believes that with the additions the team is in a position to compete for a Sun Belt Conference title.

“If I think we’ve got a legit chance for a championship, then I’m going to talk about it. We’ve been talking about it. We’re healthy, the talents here, and they’re tough enough kids,” Peddie said.

Baseball booster Scott McDonald also feels that the team has a bright outlook for this season.

“I saw small improvements being made last year, but also the affect that injuries had, especially at the pitching position. This year we’ve lost players such as Cody Tidwell, but we’ve picked up some great guys such as Nathan Reynolds at shortstop. With the leadership that Josh Fasciane, who’s been here five years can provide, and him being moved from second to third, among other changes, the team should have a much improved season,” McDonald said.

Despite a shaky season last year which saw the team go 25-29 overall and 12-18 within the conferencegraduate business administration major Ashley Aune feels confident about this year.

“I really feel that this season has a chance to bring Warhawk baseball back to to the level it was a few years ago when we were playing in a regional at LSU. We just need to stay healthy and continually improve,” Aune said.

This season features several difficult games against opponents such as TCU, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Dallas Baptist, and ULL.

ULL has been to the  NCAA regional tournament the last two years and the Warhawks will have them for a three game stretch to close out the season.

Senior pitcher Brandon Bell is not fazed by the difficult schedule, and believes it is necessary.

“It’ll be good to go in this year and play those teams, because when you play those teams, you get better. We have games on our schedule we should win, and games on our schedule that if we compete like we’re supposed to, then we have a good chance of winning as well,” Bell said.

Coach Peddie added that the team is hungry for success, and is ready to take on the competition.

“This is a different group that understands what we and are staff are trying to do. We’ve changed the culture to get back on top and they’ve bought in since day one,” Peddie said.

First pitch is Friday at Hammond.