Cougars open practice with new expectations
For the batters and pitchers alike, the start of spring practice is a crucial time for them to further improve on the diamond. The Cougars opened practice Jan. 25 to prepare for their Feb. 15 season opener.
After the struggles of last season, the pitchers do not lack motivation according to senior lefthander Matt Hernandez.
“Things didn’t really go. We never really caught a break through the season,” Hernandez said. “This year, we got a new group of guys and everybody is on the same page. Everyone is hungry to go out there and just get after it.”
The staff, which includes six lefthanders, are focusing on staying ahead of the count so they can be aggressive around the strike zone.
“Our focus is really just attacking the hitters. The game is a little different so you just let them put it in play and they’ll get themselves out most of the time,” Hernandez said. “We’ve got a bunch of guys that you can put them in during any situation. We’ve got a lot of versatility. That’s always a luxury to have.”
From the mound to the batter’s box, the Cougars lineup has a new sense of focus and are working to be mentally prepared for games.
Junior outfielder and infielder Jonathan Davis says that the team hopes for more wins as a result.
“We’re motivated by how we’ve done in the past,” Davis said. “We just want to win 30 more games this year. That’s been our goal all off-season and what we’ve been focusing on.”
As far as a pre-season progress goes, Davis is hoping for the team to score more runs.
“We’re ready to get the season started and see what we can do. I think the offense is going to look really good this year. We actually have a lot of hitters and I think we’ll be able to knock the ball around the park a little bit,” Davis said.
The first pitch of the 2013 season will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15 against Northeastern and the annual Alumni Game and Fan Appreciation Day will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 2. Both games will be at the Cougar Field.
Admission is free and there will be autograph sessions.
Last year’s disappointing season looks to have no effect on the staff as they have already laid out their goals.
“Ultimately, we want to go to Omaha. We want to take this season as far as we can go. I feel like we’re going to have a really great year,” Hernandez said.