By Daniel Johnson, Staff Writer
Published in print Feb. 11, 2015
Next Friday, as marathons of horror films of Friday 13th coincide with the sentimental value of an approaching Valentine’s Day, as well as the beginning of the NBA All Star Weekend, the UNCG baseball team will be kicking off their 2015 season.
This approaching Friday at 4 p.m. the Spartans will host the first of a three game series against the High Point Panthers and close out the weekend series at 1 p.m on Sunday with a Saturday game back at Erath Baseball Field at 2 p.m.
Prior to the start of the season, the coaches, led by third year manager Link Jarrett, and the players on the roster named their three captains for the upcoming season.
The three captains, all seniors include: Tyler Frazier, Eric Kalbfleisch, and Zac MacAneney.
Pitcher, Tyler Frazier, had the lowest earned run average (ERA) on the roster with 2.28, as well as leading the team in saves with four. Outfielder Eric Kalbfleisch, despite missing the first half of the last season with a hand injury, tied for the team lead in home runs with five and was a selection for Southern Conference All Conference Second Team. Zac MacAneney, now a redshirt senior, finished last year with a strong batting average of .325 along with 67 hits and 42 runs scored.
Also the team’s lead off hitter and regularly starting center fielder (he started in 47 games a season ago, with 44 of those games at center fielder), Zac MacAneney took some time out of his schedule last week to discuss some hot topics heading into his fourth season as a member of the UNCG squad.
Last October, the baseball team split into two groups for an intersquad series called “Blue and Grey World Series.” MacAneney discussed what he took out of the games.
“The Blue/Grey series really showed me that we have a team full of competitors and a lot of talent” he replied. “It was great baseball and a lot of fun.”
The games ended with the Grey squad sweeping the series 3-0.
Against other schools and universities, the Spartans are coming off a year that saw a below average 21-28 total record and a disastrous record on the road, managing only 4 wins out of twenty attempts. To improve this feat, MacAneney’s answer to the solution was a response short and sweet.
“ [We need to ]jump on teams early on the road and never look back.”
An important factor in having a better season than the previous one will also be the new freshmen coming to the team. The team has youth all over the roster with eleven of the thirty-five players on the roster being freshmen. Despite their age and inexperience, MacAneney has only positive things to say about the new Spartans.
“The freshmen work very hard and bring depth to our team” he stated. “We expect every one of them to be ready when their name is called and to continue to work hard.”
After talking about the team, MacAneney reflected on his growth as a UNCG baseball player. When asked what was his reaction upon learning being named one of the team’s captains.
“I was excited to be named team captain” he said. “This is a great group of guys that I would go to war with any day.”
As one of the leader’s in the locker room, he stated what he would do to better himself for his teammates and coaches.
“This season, I plan to sacrifice anything and everything to bring success to my team” he said.
In a final statement in regards to how he predicts the Blue and Gold will do on the field this season, MacAneney stated confidently the sky’s the absolutely limit for he and his teammates.
“This team can go as far as any other team in this country” he stated. “When we play to the best of our capabilities, I have no doubt that we would shock the world.”
With nine home games in the month of February alone, you will have a lot of opportunities to get to see the team play. My advice for the season, bring a jacket. It is projected to be 40 degrees on Friday and 39 degrees on Sunday.
Categories: daniel johnson, Sports
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