The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Baseball team, coming off back-to-back Southland Conference Tournament appearances, will start preparations to make it three straight on Friday with the start of the fall practice at Chapman Field.
"Tomorrow is getting all the coaches and players excited, I think even coach Rich [assistant strength coach Richard Burnett] is really excited for the team to finally get on the field," said head coach Scott Malone. "The players are ready to take it to the next level after doing just group work so far this semester."
The Islanders return 18 players from a year ago, and will bring in 24 newcomers to fall practice. Of the newcomers, 14 are from the high school ranks, while 10 have collegiate experience at a junior college.
Eight seniors, one junior and eight sophomores comprise the returning players from the 2012 team. Seniors Adam Hoelscher and Trevor Foss will be in their fourth year on the squad, while Tim Beard, Stafford Brantley, Eric Weiss, Tim Keller, Jonathan Gonzales, Franco Pace and Brad Porras will be in their second year as Islanders after transferring in last season.
"It goes beyond the hitting and the pitching, it is time to establish an identity as a team," said Malone. "This is when the leadership of the upper-classmen starts to come through and team camaraderie starts to build. We have worked in small groups so far, but we are not a team yet, just a bunch of young, talented kids. Starting practice will help us develop that chemistry."
The practice on Friday will begin at 2:30 p.m., and the team is scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. start on both Saturday and Sunday, depending on weather.
The practice season will culminate with the Blue/Gray World Series on Nov. 8-10 at Chapman Field.
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