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Countdown To Opening Day

Feb. 13, 2008

The Georgia Tech baseball team opens the 2008 season Feb. 22 vs. Youngstown State. Every day, leading up to the first pitch, a Yellow Jacket player blogs about the upcoming season. Today’s blog is by junior pitcher Chris Hicks.

After the day off from the diamond on Monday, it’s great to get back on to the field and back to work. Although Monday’s are considered our “off days,” there are no such things in a Georgia Tech student’s life. I had two hour and a half classes, that over the course of a semester, become physically and mentally draining.

My favorite highlight from this past weekend, besides the intrasquad scrimmage, had to be the Georgia Tech Baseball Banquet. Every year, I look forward to this event with anticipation because we get to hear some of baseball’s greatest players speak about their lifetime achievements and experiences. In the three years I have been at Tech, we have had the amazing opportunity to hear Nomar Garciaparra, Mark Teixeira and Chipper Jones share their stories with our team. Two of these are no-doubt hall-of-famers and former Yellow Jackets!

Although our team and coaching staff are still meshing together and building on our dynamic team chemistry, the veteran guys and I know that our team will cause some serious damage in college baseball this year. There would be no greater satisfaction to us than to get back to Omaha this year. In my mind, anything less would be a disappointment. From the first day of practice to our final scrimmage this past Sunday, everybody has had the right attitude, mentality and dedication to make this season an ultimate success. Our amazing fan support only makes us even more excited for the season to be right around the corner.

Some thoughts from practices/scrimmages:

K Time…….. So far the pitching staff has done what is expected of them. Shove. Coach Kinkelaar (AKA “Kink-Daddy), has done a fabulous job with us pitchers and we couldn’t be happier with his teachings of the game.

The starting pitching (Duncan, Ed Burns {AKA Mr. Ed} and Von Tersch) have all performed at an unbelievably high level this fall and will carry it into the season where they can carry us into the 7th or 8th inning. This leads us to our relief pitching, which has also been a very strong point on the team. Rulon, Robinson, Hutts and Jacobs have all been very impressive so far and could be a deadly combination to mess with.

This being my first year closing at Tech is a very prestigious honor to me and I am very excited for the opportunity to help our team succeed to the next level.

With a great amount of depth at every position spot, there are numerous players on this team that will contribute this spring. From the bomb-dropping Haniger, to the opposite field, slap hitting Murton, this line-up can hurt you in so many ways. House provides the essential speed necessary to get on and score. Blackmon, Long, and Plagman can drive in runs.

From a pitcher’s perspective, it never gets easy facing these guys. On the defensive side, web gems can be found daily from Dantzler and Feltes. Also, I am very pleased to be throwing to such a great defensive catcher and leader in Haniger. This is one helluva team and I can’t wait to show the country our potential!

Nine days from the first pitch!!!! GO JACKETS…..

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