WINCHESTER, Va. – Senior Daniel Freshley is in his second year of blogging about the baseball program. Today, in his first blog of the new year, he catches us up on preseason practice.
As preseason practices begin to wrap up, and we count down the days until opening day, I speak on behalf of the entire team when I say we couldn't be more excited. Over the past few weeks, the coaching staff has done a great job of putting together in-depth practices plans and schedules that allow our team to improve in all facets of the game on a daily basis.
Every weekend since the beginning of practice, the coaching staff has prepared us for the 10 doubleheaders we have this season by playing a double-header intrasquad on Saturday or Sunday, with a single 9-inning game and individual defensive work on the other day. These weekend intraquads give our starting pitchers the opportunity to pitch in live game situations rather than throwing traditional-styled bullpens. We have also played multiple intrasquads on weekdays, allowing our relief pitchers to have the opportunity to throw on back-to-back days, or return to the mound on limited rest. Each scrimmage is coached and played as if it were an official game, with some modifications here and there. For example, this past week we played several intrasquads in which each inning began with runners on different bases to allow us to prepare for many different situations. We were able to practice everything from our bases loaded cover four defense, to our first and third plays, bunt coverages, and pickoff plays. These situations also allow our offense to work on team situational hitting and the importance of executing in these situations.
On days that we are not intrasquading, we are practicing the technical aspects of the game of baseball. Coach Anderson breaks every practice down into one of two different categories – technical or tactical. Practice in which we work on situational hitting or defense and various team-oriented aspects of the game are tactical practices. However, practices where we work on individual defense and hitting are all technical practices. These practices allow players to work through drill series and high repetitions at their various positions as well as offensive technique while hitting in the cages and analyzing video. Both of these aspects of the game are equally as important to the overall success of a team.
Unfortunately, we have yet to step on a real baseball field. On the plus side, we have been able to use of the Shentel Stadium turf on a daily basis along with a fancy portable mound that turns the football field into a makeshift baseball field. Needless to say, we all look forward to the day that we can finally take to a real baseball field. We hope to see all of our fans this weekend at Bridgeforth Field as we open the 2015 season with a non-league doubleheader against Misericordia starting at noon.