Live Action Highlights Opening of 2013 Baseball Practices
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman baseball opened spring practice last weekend with three consecutive days of scrimmages at historic Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
The pace was high and you could see the hustle as players demonstrated their focus in preparing to make a run at an unprecendented eighth consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title.
“Any time you’re doing individual workouts and you get out here as a team, you kind of get that little extra push and little extra energy,” Head Coach Jason Beverlin noted after the first day. “The start of the season is right around the corner and everybody’s real excited about it, no question.”
With each player showing they had taken to heart their personal accountability for remaining focused after nearly a month off campus during the holiday break, the coaching staff was pleased to find the team ready to get started during individual workouts, and ready to hit the field with live action.
“The guys came back from break in really great shape, and right now it’s just a matter of getting as many repetitions in as possible,” Beverlin said.
That is exactly what the Wildcats have done, opening team practices on Friday, Jan. 25, and simulating game situations in both drills and scrimmages right away, following up with the same efforts on Saturday and Sunday.
“With as little time as we have, it’s something we really have to do in order to get the starting pitchers’ counts up to where they need to be by the first game,” Beverlin said.
Joined by seven newcomers, the 2013 pitching staff has not disappointed, drawing daily praise from the coaching staff after each outing.
“I think our pitchers did a really good job attacking the strike zone, being aggressive, and really pitching off their fastballs,” Beverlin said.
The pitchers aren’t making it easy on the hitters, who are
looking to get up to speed in live action, with opening day (Feb. 15) on the horizon
in the series at Arizona State.
“The hitters’ timing is a little off right now, but I fully expect them to get in the swing of things as we move on,” Beverlin said. “Defensively, we’re a little rusty, but at the same time, we saw some really nice plays from the guys as well.”
The Wildcats the 2012 season 34-27, concluding the season in the NCAA [Gainesville] Regional. The Wildcats will have a busy early season with eight games in the first 10 days of the 2013 schedule, opening with a three-game series at ASU (Feb. 15-17), followed by a pair at home versus North Florida (Feb. 19) and FIU (Feb. 20), then a three-game stint at Mercer (Feb. 22-24).
“What I saw was definitely encouraging, but we still have a lot of work to do before February 15th,” Beverlin concluded.
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[Video: Jason Beverlin Discusses the Opening of 2013 Team Practices]