With the 2013 season just around the corner, Akron men’s baseball returned to the practice field in preparation for what will prove to be a make-or-break season.
“It is going to be a very demanding schedule for our guys right from day one,” head coach Rick Rembielak said. “We want to make sure we get ready in the next few weeks.”
The Zips will open up the season on Feb. 15 as they travel on the road to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech, a team that was 32-24 during the 2012 season and was able to make the NCAA Gainesville Regionals.
The Zips will then stay on the road the following week and travel to Louisville, Ky., to take on the Louisville Cardinals, who went 41-22 in 2012 and also made it to the NCAA Regionals.
The Zips finished last season with an overall record of 17-38, being 10-17 in the conference. Coach Rembielak acknowledged that during the 2012 season, the team was able to start off strong during conference play, but struggled later and saw their strong start fade away.
“We have to finish strong; that’s something we didn’t do last season,” Rembielak said. “We faded, and consistency is something we have to maintain.”
The Zips were unable to make the MAC tournament because of this.
“Our goal [this year] is to make the MAC tournament and go from there,” senior pitcher Samuel Trecaso said.
To reach that goal, the Zips need to focus on the one factor that caused their previous season to slip away: consistency. Rembielak stated that while they have a lot to learn to become a championship-caliber team, the main thing they took away from last season is to stay consistent.
Throughout last season, the Zips often found themselves in a winning streak only to follow with a string of losses. Because of this, Rembielak stresses the importance of bringing their A-game to the field every day.
“We have to stay at the highest level with our mentality,” Rembielak said. “And it comes down to discipline too, both physically and mentally.”
It’s still a long road to Feb. 15, but with the atmosphere in practice, the team is looking to improve themselves to face the many challenges ahead.
“We are excited,” Trecaso said. “We got a tough few weekends, but we are ready for the challenge to get out there.”