Laurie Connelly, ’Doah Staff Writer
February 6, 2013
Baseball is in the air, and coach Kevin Anderson and his staff are prepared for this upcoming season. As he begins his 10th year with the Hornets, and the first time with the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC), Anderson believes that within the baseball program, there has been an increase of excellence for Shenandoah University.
“We play together and work well with the coaching staff and with each other,” he said, “We work to fulfill potential.”
Coming off of a 31-13 record last season, the Hornets have a lot of potential. Anderson shared that, with the coaching staff, is a leadership team. Two senior captains and six additional men will be leaders for this upcoming season to not only the baseball team, but, also, the baseball program.
Senior captain Steven Walker gives his opinion for the upcoming season. “We are really young. We have roughly 23 freshmen who are really talented and most of them are on their way to the field this year.”
Along with Walker is co-captain Cody Smallwood who is preparing to fill big shoes left from last year’s season. “Together we will lead the team to a conference regional championship for the first time being in the ODAC,” he said.
Within the scheduling of the conference games, there is a difference between USA South and ODAC. Anderson explains that this will be more difficult for the team because the weekend games will now be double-headers on Saturdays instead of one game on Saturday and one on Sunday.
“This will be new to us,” he said, “The structure will be quite a challenge for us, and it will be different to what we are used to.”
The Hornets have been recently ranked 23rd in the country by d3baseball.com. They were also ranked third in the ODAC pre-season ranking poll.
“Rankings are based off of somebody’s judgment. That doesn’t mean they actually came out to watch us play,” Walker says. “That
doesn’t actually portray us. This just says who we’ve lost and who we still have.”
Being a young team coming off of a good season will help the Hornets throughout this spring. The age doesn’t matter and neither do the rankings, according to Walker and Anderson. The coaching staff and team have said that they are aware of the challenge and they are ready.
The team’s first home game is on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 12 p.m. against Misericordia. For more information regarding their schedule and roster, check out suhornets.com.