A normal preparation practice for the Grambling State University baseball team consists of the following: the players stretch and run to get loose and warm up.
Then the team does bunt coverage, first to third defense, pick off and run downs, cut off an relays, and last reads and leads.
The Tigers then breaks off and do individual workouts. The outfield and infield defense work on batting in the bullpen cage and field coverage.
Tigers head coach James Cooper said he was satisfied with how the guys have been practicing, however he added, “there is always room for improvement.”
This weekend when GSU play a three game series against Georgia State University, the Tigers will have an opportunity to improve their dismal record of 0-4.
“We are playing solid baseball games, we came up short but we have showed that we can hang with the big schools,” said senior third baseman Hector Mejias.
“We need to keep working hard and step up when clutch situations come but, as a team we are solid we just got to put all the pieces together. Once momentum comes our way it’s going to be hard to stop us!”
The Tigers are currently facing a rocky start to their season dropping their first four games. They lost to Northwestern State three times consecutive and one time Mississippi State University.
Assistant coach Davin Pierre stated, right now at this point in the season the teams’ biggest struggle is timely hitting.
“The way we can overcome our struggles are by getting guys to step, having better approach at the plate and just getting the job done.”
In the midst of the slow start of the season, the positive things that Pierre sees is great pitching performance, good defense, and guys are playing harder.
Cooper said, “I expect nothing less than a championship. I expect my guys to play better in May than in February. I want to see progression as they play.
I expect the team to go out and play hard from first to last innings.
Pitchers to keep games close by throwing quality strikes and getting outs. Hitters need to execute at the plate.”
The gaming strategy that the Tigers use is pitchers getting ball in the strike zone and out of hitters power zone.
The defense should take easy outs that the opposing offense would give them.
Cooper stated he want the offense to make sure that they move up one base per bat, and to make sure to hit the ball up the middle to the right side.
The Tigers have struggled to produce runs throughout their early season woes. Their seven run outburst in their 8-7 loss to Northwestern is their highest total this season.
The Tigers have been outscored 12-27 through four games. However, the solid pitching performance in their 2-0 loss to Southeastern Conference (SEC) hot rod Mississippi State is hopefully a sign of things to come for the Tigers.
“I can promise that we will win some games and show that we play hard” quoted Coach Copper. “Timely hitting, continuing good pitching, and a strong defense will give ourselves the first win of the season,” said Coach Pierre.
The Tigers at their first home game Tuesday, Feb. 26 against Stephen F. Austin University at 2 p.m.