Rams predict return to World Series

Baseball discusses new players, new field and more

By Alana Edgin
On January 29, 2016

With a new stadium, new players and a desire to surpass their previous season finale at the World Series, Ram baseball is ready to take on the 2016 season.

“Fans may not think we are going to be as good as we were last year,” Paxton DeLaGarza, senior infielder and pitcher, said. “We lost a lot of good players last year but I think fans will be surprised that we filled those holes pretty good this year. I think they will be really excited to come out and watch us play.”

In last year’s 2016 NCAA Division II World Series, the Rams took on the Henderson State Reddies and lost the first game 0-4. They went into the second game to redeem themselves against the Wilmington University Wildcats, winning by 5-0. For their next and final game, it was a rematch against the Reddies. The Rams finished the season with a hard fought loss against the Reddies with a score of 1-4.

“After we got our rings this year I think everyone wants another one and we want to go back to the World Series,” DeLaGarza said. “[Fans] are going to come out and see that we are even better than we were last year and we are going to have a good run this year.”

Among the team’s returners are DeLaGarza and senior pitcher Bryce Zak, who were recently recognized as Lone Star Conference Preseason Player of the Year and LSC Preseason Co-Pitcher of the Year, respectively. They also have a few new players, one of which is Joey Wise, a junior left handed pitcher from Arizona.

Despite some important players graduating. and losing three to the Major League draft, Head Coach Kevin Brooks has faith in the team.

“I feel like we’ve gotten a little bit better every day since we started so that’s something we will have to continue to do,” Brooks said. “It’s been a little inconsistent but the good thing is I do feel like we are making strides and improving. It helps, having such a beautiful place to come to. The feel, the attitude, the atmosphere is definitely better than the old one.”

This beautiful place Brooks is referring to is the new Foster Field. The old grass field has been replaced by turf, new stands and has made a definite impact on the team, according to DeLaGarza.

“We are really blessed to have people that care about the baseball program and having one of the nicest fields in Division II is a good blessing for us,” DeLaGarza said. “I think when you have a brand new field you go out there and have more fun knowing there’s people around you that care about you and want to have nice facilities for you and that makes it more fun for everybody.”

DeLaGarza also said that his goal and the team’s goal are to see the team go farther than last year.

“Hopefully we will play hard and well,” Brooks said. “The definite thing is that [fans] will have a great place to come watch games. If we can play as good as the place we play we’ll be really good.”

The Rams’ first game will be on Feb. 2 in Laredo, Texas against Texas A&M International. They will continue their road trip until coming home on March 11 to play Texas A&M UniversityKingsville.

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