My name is Taylor Sandefur and I am a redshirt junior on the Western Carolina Catamount baseball team. I am from Mechanicsville, Va., and am majoring in communication. Entering this year, I am coming off of shoulder surgery and can't wait to get back out on the field after sitting out last season.
After not being able to play last year, it hit me what my favorite thing about baseball is simply the ability to play the game. You don't realize how much something means to you until you lose it. I enjoy candle lit dinners, long walks on the beach and a good romance novel. I dabble in lots of different activities and to list them all would take you days to read.
It is the middle of September and we just had our first weekend of team practice. Leading up to that opening team practice, we have been working extremely hard to get ready for the fall. We have been running and conditioning, lifting and working on our skills individually to be as ready as possible for fall practice. We are a very dedicated group of guys and we love to play the game of baseball.
Our first weekend of team practice went extremely well. On Friday (Sept. 14), we had a good day of skills work focusing a lot on the defensive side of the ball. We introduced our new players to our system and tried to slow everything down so that they understand. At the end of practice, the hitters got to hit and the pitchers shagged some fly balls - all while staying out of the way of our stud outfielders, of course. Then we packed it in on a good first day and ready for the intrasquad scrimmages to start.
On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15 and 16, we got to play. We hit some defensive notes really quick and took infield outfield practice before we dividing up and playing the game. All of our senior and junior pitchers threw on Saturday with the exception of myself so that I could have an extra day of rest to get ready.
Our older guys looked good; we did a good job of throwing strikes and keeping the hitters off balance. Sunday, the sophomores and freshman got to throw. The big surprise was how well our freshman pitchers did. They also filled up the strike zone and made the other guys swing the bat.
While the pitchers did a good job as a whole, so did the hitters. Most of our hitters haven't seen live pitching since this summer which makes it really hard to just jump back in the box and start hitting again. But overall, our hitters did just fine. We had two guys hit home runs.
Overall, the intrasquad games were good for both sides.
Collectively as a team, we are going to put in a good week of work for this up coming week and keep working hard to bring home a championship to "Fortress Cullowhee," as dubbed by our loyal fan group on the hill, the "Left Field Lunatics."
That it for my first blog entry and there will be more to come.