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Countdown To Opening Day

Feb. 11, 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 by junior catcher Jason Haniger.

Monday was a great chance to lay back and relax after a tough week of practice. We worked extremely hard this past week fine tuning our strengths and improving upon our weaknesses.

I feel like some players really stepped up during this weekend’s intersquad games. Our three weekend starters — David Duncan, Eddie Burns, and Zach Von Tersch — once again proved why they deserve the roles they have earned. Moreover, freshmen Kevin Jacob and Taylor Wood both improved upon their last outing.

Unfortunately, for us hitters, Duncan and Wood held us to one hit on Friday. However, on Saturday and Sunday the hitters got their revenge. Charlie Blackmon and I hit back to back home runs to end Saturday’s scrimmage, while Cole Leonida, Patrick Long, Thomas Nichols, and Chris House each added one of their own on Sunday.

Our veteran bullpen including closer Chris Hicks, Brad Rulon, and Andrew Robinson proved to us this weekend that if we can get to the 6th or 7th inning with the lead, they will handle the rest.

We are counting the days till we can show our fans and Youngstown State what the 2008 Yellow Jackets have to offer. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the following question: “Are y’all going to be any good this year after losing guys like Payne, Wieters, Crancer, Fisher etc.?” YES. This year’s team is closer than either of the past two teams I have been apart of. Our team chemistry will be vital to our success this year.

In my opinion and experience, a group of close-knit guys with a competitive nature and a burning desire to succeed will beat a team with more talent any day. Aside from our chemistry, we have great depth on our pitching staff and our lineup. We return both our Friday and Saturday guys and probably have one of the best Sunday guys in the nation. Also, we are returning starting corner outfielders Chris House and Luke Murton, as well as Patrick Long, Tony Plagman, Jeff Ussery, and Brad Feltes in the infield.

Fortunately, we have a great freshmen class that is going to push our upper-classmen and compete for starting jobs. I feel that this competition will bring out the best of our God-given talent.

February 22nd is only 10 days away and we hope our fans are as excited as we are. Thanks for all your support and GO JACKETS!


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