As the fall semester comes to a close, baseball is on the field putting in the work for the upcoming season.
Head coach Bill Picketts said his position players are fairly experienced, and he is confident and comfortable with the returning players he has on the team this year.
He said he is also confident about the team’s academic standing and is not worried about losing any players.
Though some players, including Michael Scolaro, suffered injuries during the fall, Picketts said he knows the team will come back strong.
Scolaro had Tommy John surgery, which repairs an injured elbow ligament.
“It seems like everybody is healthier now. We start the season soon, so it’s nice that we’re in a good position,” Picketts said.
Picketts said that last year the team was a game away from winning conference and he expects the team to take that win this season.
“With the experience and we have coming back, getting over the hump is probably something that I should expect from them,” Picketts said. “I’m expecting to have a good season and I think the guys are too. They seem to be excited about their teammates.”
Picketts said there haven’t been too many challenges with the team’s performance on the field. While he understands the players have other responsibilities, he said the biggest challenge is consistent commitment because of players that have jobs or class.
Picketts said he foresees fall to be a little inconsistent, but come January, his expectations will be higher about players being available and making a commitment.
“That’s always one of the things that is difficult to do at the community college level,” Picketts said. “You have so many guys with different personalities, and so much going on in their private lives, it’s hard to get them out here every day.”
The players put in leadership positions, were the right choices? Picketts said. He thinks they have done a good job bringing the team together and making everybody feel comfortable.
“That’s always something you need as a coach,” Picketts said. “You need your veterans to control things more than you as a coach. It’s helpful when direction comes from another player.”
He said he has done well leading his team and helping them overcome challenges, improving individually and as a team.
“Any coach that tells you that they treat everybody the same and there is one way they do things is wrong. You have to treat all of them a little bit differently to get the most out of them,” Picketts said. “I try to communicate with them one-on-one and tell each of them my expectations as well as the team. It helps them trust me, and hopefully, I can get the most out of them by doing that.”
Picketts noticed a lot of improvements in focus this fall.
“I like the depth of our team,” Picketts said. “I think a lot of them are hungry.”
Scolaro pitches and plays middle infield. He said the team is looking really good, and their offense and pitching are coming along.
Scolaro said that they have been making improvements in a lot of different areas.
“Picketts has definitely shown us a lot of different drills to help me strengthen my arm on the mound. After coming back from surgery, it has helped me a lot,” Scolaro said.
Scolaro said that last year they were a really young team, and this year, they have a lot of returning players, including the team leaders.
Every team has the goal of winning conference, and Scolaro said he thinks they have a good team to do that this year.
“We expect a lot of success this season, and we have a really good team with really good chemistry, and we hope for a great season,” Scolaro said.
Sophomore and corner infielder Brandon Lewis said the team is looking better than last year, and he is more confident playing against other teams.
Lewis said the team is beginning to form the bond that’s needed for a championship team.
“We overcame the challenges we faced when we bonded as a team,” Lewis said. “There were a lot of individuals that needed to find their mix and start finding their way in the team. We all helped each other out. We hope to keep it going for the spring.”
Lewis is going into the new season without a worry about his team and the performance on the field.
“I hope to see us in the Championships,” Scolaro said.