Wednesday January 30, 2013
Augusta, Ga--It's been a rough go of it for the Augusta State baseball team as of late. Just 13 wins a season ago, a year in which keeping guys on the field was a challenge. This year coach Chris Cooper likes what he sees early but knows when the lights come on it can be a different animal.
While they bring back several players from a year ago, Cooper says that means nothing. With 17 to 18 new guys in uniform, look for several of those guys to be impact players from day one. A year ago the defense let them down a lot and that's been a point of emphasis this first month of practice.
"In this league, you know this is the SEC of Division two when it comes to baseball" said Chris Cooper "When you kick a ball, its going to come back to bite you. When you walk a guy, it's going to come back to bite you so I think those guys have taken more pride. We've hit every day 100 ground balls or more to each guy, we do stuff like that."
"Defensively we were not very good at all last year" said Jeff Rice "We focused on that all fall, done a lot of new drills that (coach) Cooper has implemented and different things like that that really has turned the defense around. I'm really confident in what we have on the field out there."
Jags also bring three of their top pitchers back but Scott Shipman will probably miss the start of the year with some tentenidous issues. Jags open the season friday with a series against Carson Newman at Lake Olmstead Stadium.