With baseball season underway across the country, hundreds of preseason rankings have been released for the hundreds of collegiate baseball teams. This past week the New England Collegiate Conference released the “Coach’s Preseason Poll”; and it came with some very good news for the Lesley University baseball team. The recent poll has the team slated to finish second in the conference, marking the highest preseason rank in program history. After setting a team record for total wins (19) last year, the team is looking to eclipse that mark.
While the members of the team are excited and ecstatic about the recognition they are getting around the conference, they certainly understand that it’s important not to lose focus on their goals this year. Junior starting pitcher Tommy Muratore (Mammaroneck, New York), said, “It means a lot to us because it shows we are starting to get respect, but that doesn’t mean we get to stop working hard. If anything, it means we have to work even harder.”
The team has been in full swing since the first day of the second semester. Practices vary through the week, which constantly keeps the players on their toes. During the day, you can either find the team members in the gym, working out in groups and getting stronger. However, you can also find some of the guys downstairs in the Stebbins Cage pushing themselves through drills to perfect their technique on hitting, pitching, or fielding.
The baseball team also takes part in mandatory conditioning on Friday nights. During this “grueling hour” as junior utility man, Justin Clark (Chino Hills, California) calls it, the team splits into groups and are tested on all facets of athletic ability, which includes core strength, speed, explosiveness, etc. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop there. The team can also be found under the lights on BB&N’s soccer field focusing on team drills that will allow them to be successful come game time. Finally, on Saturday’s, the team makes it’s way out to the Strike Zone, a batting facility located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Here, the team will play simulated games to help prepare for game situations and enhance focus prior to the start of the season.
While it may seem like hefty schedule, especially once you add classes and jobs, the team understands the importance of these long days. Freshmen catcher Brendan Fairchild (Temecula, California) states, “We have a very hard working and dedicated team this season. We get out there everyday and come out of every practice a better team. I feel that we can be something really special, and I am very excited to be a part of it.”
There is a lot of anticipation surrounding the team as they are eager to get onto the field and compete. The long practice hours serve as a waiting game as they are extremely excited to play this spring. The team opens up its season in Winter Haven, Florida against Springfield College on March 11th. They return on March 20th and follow up five days later with their first home game on March 25th against Newbury College at 12:00pm. If you are interested in following the team throughout the season, you can click here (http://athletics.lesley.edu/sports/bsb/2016-17/schedule) for their schedule. In addition, you can also follow their Twitter page, @Lesley_BSB, or their Instagram page, @lesleybsb_.