This year ENC’s Baseball team consists of a multitude of young players, yet their season thus far has already shown improvements from last year.
Baseball started their season with a 12-7 record, the second best start in the history of the program. With 19 games under their belt, they have accumulated over 120 runs, and a batting average of .287 compared to the Major Baseball League’s team average of .358.
Coach Addison Rouse is excited for this upcoming season and their accomplishments so far. He believes the team chemistry is great.
“This team is the closest knit group that I’ve coached since I’ve been here. My favorite part about the team is that there’s no real cliques, they’re all friends and enjoy being around each other which has translated to the field,” Rouse says.
Coach Rouse believes that the teams pitching staff is their biggest strength. The pitchers are young, consisting of three juniors being the oldest on the team. Rouse believes that they have been very successful due to their fearlessness and desire to compete. Although he agrees the team has been great in many facets, he does admit their offense needs some improvement.
Rouse compared the difference between the both teams he has coached, both the current year and the previous year. “[The team] is like a night and day difference. The morale of the team, the work ethic, and the early season success. Everything is just positively different,” Rouse said.
Junior Colton Rice (Mesa, Ariz.) echoes Coach Rouse’s excitement for this season. Rice believes that the biggest struggle early in the season is getting everyone to understand their roles, however this is no longer an issue.
“Now that everyone understands their roles, they have all bought into the common goal of dog piling (when a team wins a national championship and dog piles in celebration),” Rice commented.
Rice stated excitement for conference play this Friday.
“As a team we’re expecting to upset the pre-rankings. We were projected last, and we think with our young talent we can be a top contending team,” he said.