By Andrew Preston
The Trojans baseball team will begin the 2016-17 season the pre-season favorites to win the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) for the third consecutive year.
According to a recent G-MAC coaches poll, the Trojans received 41 totals points, with four first place votes, and are early favorites to once again win the G-MAC post-season title, something they have accomplished three of the past four seasons.
Last season the Trevecca baseball team lost 9-6 to Alderson Broaddus in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) championship game.
After trailing for most of the game, the Trojans scored five runs in the seventh inning to take a 6-5 lead. Alderson Broaddus tied the game in the eighth inning and went on to score three more runs in the top of the ninth to secure the school’s first ticket to the NCAA national tournament, something the Trojans are looking to accomplish this season.
“I told the guys I was proud of them, but sometimes things don’t go your way as they don’t always in life. You have to move on and learn from the experience. I told the guys we’ll be back next year,” said Ryan Schmalz, head baseball coach.
This season, while Schmalz isn’t looking to avenge last season’s loss in the G-MAC finals, he said the team has a great shot to get back to the finals.
“Our expectations for the season are the same as always. We want to compete for conference and regional championships,” said Schmalz.
Reed shared similar expectations of his own.
“We expect to win the G-MAC, win the region and win the World Series which is now in Texas,” said senior outfielder, Patrick Reed. “Our goal is to get to Texas.”
Schmalz noted that his team has a lot of senior led talent, but he will also look to his team captains.
“We have four captains. Cameron Boyett, Bryan Smith, Clay Staton and Ethan Hurt. Those guys were voted on by the team and I think they are all very good leaders,” said Schmalz.
Reed, entering his senior season, said he wanted to win as many games as possible, but had a deeper desire for his team.
“I want to bring the team as close together as possible,” said Reed. “My main goal is creating and maintaining team chemistry.”
The Trojans have scheduled some high ranking Division-II opponents for this season, something Schmalz explained as necessary for his squad to improve.
“We play a very good schedule again this year, some of the tops teams in the region. Our schedule this year is very similar to last year and probably a little more challenging, actually,” said Schmalz.
Reed said that that is one thing Schmalz is good at.
“He wants us to play the best competition possible. There’s no reason for us to play teams we know we’re going to beat,” said Reed.
Since beginning competition in the G-MAC in 2012-13, the Trojans have won a conference best, 69 games in that span.
“Our strengths are starting pitching, defense and experience,” said Schmalz.
While seeking revenge on Alderson Broaddus is not on the minds of Schmalz’ team, he wants to prove the Trojans are competing at a high level once again this season.
“We try and approach every game the same and give it our best shot,” said Schmalz.
The Trojan season will begin Feb. 10 against the University of Montevallo.