Baseball aims for NAIA World Series

Junior first baseman Andrew Kennedy runs the bases during a game last spring.

Alec Tebben | Echo

The baseball team has started off the 2019 season with six wins and one loss. A successful start to the season, but it’s the end of the season the Trojans have their eyes on.

Last year, the team’s season ended in the opening round of the NAIA National Championship. This year, the team aims to not only make it past the opening round, but to make it to the NAIA World Series. If they are successful, they will be the first team in Taylor history to make it to the World Series.

The Trojans are already starting to work toward the goal of qualifying for the World Series. Senior Josh Lane said the hard work the team put in this fall and during the offseason and the way their coaches push them in practice will help them.

“(Our coaches) want you to make sure that each individual thing you do is to your full attention, so that you can help yourself and help the team in general,” junior Andrew Kennedy said.

Kennedy said the team has grit and perseverance, and they don’t take anything they do lightly. The team’s coaches have helped instill these qualities in them.

Lane and Kennedy said head coach Kyle Gould tries to make some practices intense, so that they are as difficult as a real game, if not more so. As a result, games feel easier in comparison.

“Like today, we were hitting really hard sliders and fastballs that we probably wouldn’t see a lot, but it’ll just make everything else easier,” Kennedy said.

The team also has other strengths that should help them work toward a successful postseason. Kennedy said their pitching and defense have been key to their success so far.

Lane said the team has great chemistry as well.

“All the guys love each other and want to play hard for each other,” Lane said.

The postseason may be a long way off, but in the team’s minds, success starts now.