2012 brings season of firsts for baseball team

Today marks the first game of the 2012 season for Cru baseball team members.

Coming off  a 9-12 conference record from last year, the team hopes to improve for this season.

“Our big thing this year is defensively making all our routine plays, and if we ever have the situation where we can turn a double play, we need to turn it,” Head Coach Derek Dunaway said. “The pitchers have really been working on attacking the strike zone and cutting down on walks.”

Another important ingredient to any successful season is team chemistry. The Cru are working hard to make sure they have it.

Senior business administration major and pitcher Trevor Alaniz said, “Teamwork is very important. The closer we are, the better we will be during the season. We are pretty close as a team already; we have been through a lot. Teamwork is very important for us.”

With the addition of many new players this season, senior exercise and sport science major and pitcher Sam VanHoozer knows that teamwork will be crucial to having the best season possible.

During night practice Feb. 1, sophomore outfielder Klayton Estes practices hitting for the first game against Texas Wesleyan University. With the addition of new lights around the field, the team is now able to practice and have games at night. Photo by Brooke Morgan.

“We had a lot of transfers come in, so we are working on communicating and coming together as a team. We had moments last season where we didn’t connect much, so we are just working to come together as a whole,” he said.

In the Preseason Coaches and Media Poll, the Cru was picked to finish fifth in the ASC West Division. This ranking gives the team even more of a reason to prove everyone wrong this season.

“It doesn’t matter if you are picked first or fifth or last, but we are practicing like we are going to be first,” VanHoozer said.

Although the season is just starting, team members have some ambitions they think are in reach for the season.

“Our team goals are pretty high. First, we want to win the conference championship and go to regions. Our ultimate goal is to hopefully win the National Championship,” Alaniz said.

These goals could not be met if the team hadn’t started preparing for the season last semester.

“Ever since the fall, we have been working hard,” Alaniz said. “We had 6 a.m. workouts, and all of us showed up and worked really hard. We have been working over the break, and as individuals we are all pretty determined.”

Dunaway thinks that goals can be met with the group they have this season.

“This is the most talented team we’ve ever had since we’ve been in the ASC,” he said. “We are very blessed to have a lot of talent, a lot of great guys who care about each other and want to win. They say it and prove it out here on the practice field.”

Lights were installed around Red Murff Field to allow for night games to be played more easily.

“It is amazing. Hopefully it will bring more attendance at night games. It’s great that the school did that for us, and that’s what we have wanted since freshman year,” VanHoozer said. “We go other places and play night games, so that’s all we wanted.”

 

Author: Brooke Morgan

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