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Baseball team hits the field for fall practice

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It may not feel like spring, but the Bisons are already getting ready for the upcoming baseball season.

Fall practice began on Sep 15 and continues through the end of October. The practices are designed to give the team and coaching staff an idea of what they need to improve on before the season starts.

“The first and foremost thing we want to do is to look at the freshmen and transfer students,” said assistant coach Brian Ryman. “We want to see how they stack up against the returning players.”

Although many players will be returning from last year’s historic team, there are still plenty of new faces joining the Bisons this year.

“It goes back to these young guys and what kind of contribution they are going to make,” said head coach Jeff Forehand. “They are a talented bunch. That is the fun part for me, watching them develop.”

The Bisons are looking to build on last year’s successes by defending their Atlantic Sun title and returning to the NCAA Tournament. The first step towards that goal is a productive fall practice.

“I think it is different from season to season,” said Forehand. “We are younger, we have 10 new freshmen that really need to jump in and learn the roles. It is going to be more of a teaching and fundamental time.”

The freshmen are not the only people who will be making their Lipscomb debut this season.

Following the Bisons successful NCAA Tournament run, Forehand added Trevecca Nazarene University head coach Chris Collins to his staff. Collins, who played and coached under Forehand at Trevecca, went on to become the head coach following Forehand’s departure to Lipscomb.

“Coach Collins gives us another set of eyes,” said Forehand. “Our philosophies are similar. He is an extension of what we have been doing these past two years. It will be an adjustment for some of the older players coming back, but not for me.”

Fall practice is not only a time for new players to adjust to the Lipscomb system, but also a time for everyone to have fun.

Starting in October, the team will play inter-squad games on Thursdays and Fridays that will be open for anyone to watch. There will even be a Purple vs Gold World Series in which a steak dinner is cooked for the winning team.

“Lipscomb In Motion will be sponsoring a grill out on Oct. 10 to get people to come out to one of the inter-squad games,” said Garner Goode, the director of student involvement. “The goal is to build up the buzz about the baseball program.”

Written by Benjamin Seamon, student assistant in the Lipscomb athletic media relations department. This story was cross-published in The Babbler, Lipscomb's student newspaper.