Saints optimistic for spring season

The Saints baseball team continued their fall scrimmages with games against Colorado Lightning and Clarendon College this past weekend. Galen McSpadden, head baseball coach, said, “I liked what I saw this weekend. As long as I can see progress, and that was on the mound, and that was defensively, and that was at the plate, so that’s encouraging.” Now three weeks into the fall season, players have had the chance to get settled in to play. McSpadden said, “First of all, the guys are settled in. Some of them hadn’t been playing for three weeks. A lot of freshmen get nervous, so usually it’s pretty interesting the first weeks. After that, we started settling down. So first of all, the emotional rollercoaster is not there. They evened out a little bit. The second thing is consistency. I feel that defensively we played better. Thought that our approach on the mound was definitely better and I thought we swung the bats better. With the repetition they have had now for three weeks, and getting a little more comfortable with the environment, it helps a great deal.” Among returning players this year is Brent Williams. Williams ended his first season at Seward with plenty of highlights. He currently holds the NJCAA Division I Single Season Doubles Record, with 37 doubles. Williams was also named to the first team NJCAA All-American, first team All-Region VI, first teams All-Jayhawk West, and Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year. Williams too liked how the team played against Colorado Lightning and Clarendon College. “They are a lot better than some of the results from scrimmages we had last year,” Williams said. “Our team is definitely clicking a lot better, so scrimmages are going well. I think the biggest thing is that we have a lot of team chemistry right now, a lot of comradery. Everyone is… joining each other and pulling in the same direction.” “If you put a win/loss record [for the scrimmages this fall], we are over .500 so far, so we are pretty pleased,” McSpadden said. “The game is a very humbling game. There are a lot of things you can’t control; the bounce of a ball, the wind… but as long as we keep coming out here everyday competing and trying to get better. It’s all mindset when you get out here and I really like their mindset. I enjoy this group already and I think that there is a lot of potential.” To help improve, the Saints baseball team faces a full schedule. “The game is to where the more you play, the better you get,” McSpadden said. “I think the Major League baseball proves that. They have 162 games at a major league level and 144 games at a minor league level. That tells you right there that for people to develop, for people to learn how to hit a ball, which is the hardest thing maybe that there is to do, they need a lot of bats, a lot of ground balls, and you need to throw a lot of strikes. So it’s a game of repetition and that’s what you need.” That is precisely what players get. The team plays as much as they are allowed for fall scrimmages plus the games they are scheduled in for the regular season. Throughout the course of the year, the team looks at roughly 100 games. With this fall season underway, players are looking forward to what’s to come. “We are excited for the season and ready to win a National Championship,” Williams said. The Saints will have their next game Saturday, Aug. 13, and Sunday, Aug. 14, for the Albuquerque Tournament in Albuquerque, N.M.

Brandon Rix runs to home plate during the Saints scrimmage against Clarendon College. Rix, an infielder for the Saints, earned the NJCAA Superior Academic Award last year. Crusader photo/Maria Lara
Brandon Rix runs to home plate during the Saints scrimmage against Clarendon College. Rix, an infielder for the Saints, earned the NJCAA Superior Academic Award last year. Crusader photo/Maria Lara