The CSU baseball team finished its last practice Thursday night in preparation before opening up a nine-game home series on Friday. The Rams are 3-5 on the season and looking to take all five games this weekend while playing in front of their home crowd for the first time this season.
“It is a comfort level to play on your home field,” outfielder Greg Hart said. “We know the field and we know the surroundings the fans are going to be here, so I think this is going to be an awesome weekend.”
It comes without saying that playing on a home field comes with its advantages. For the Rams, all the hopes will look go to their way when they take the field Friday at 5 p.m. CSU will take the plate against the University of Northern Colorado for three games before facing a double-header against Adams State on Sunday.
“From the looks of it, they have had a successful start to their season,” head coach Nick Childs said. “They went 4-0 this first week of play, so we expect them to be good and we are not going to underestimate them. We know we need to come in and play well and certainly expect to win.”
With heads centered on the first game, CSU knows it can not take any team lightly. The strengths on this team are in the pitching rotation and CSU strives on offense but has experienced early struggles on the defensive side of the ball.
“We have not played defense as well as we are capable of,” Childs said. “We’re a very talented defense, but not being able to practice outside. The talent level is there, we are just kind of waiting for the reps to catch, though it is not an area for concern because the talent is there.”
The Rams had a slow start to the season before gaining momentum in Arizona behind the support of senior outfielders Hart and Brad Spies on the field and at the plate. Childs referred to these two players that hit in the top of the order as a great sense of leadership for the team.
The goal on the weekend is to win every game, and in order to do so CSU will need to hit early and field the ball well.
“Hopefully we will have a good crowd, we always appreciate the students’ support,” Childs said. “It should be pretty nice weather (Friday) night, so it is a great time to come watch some baseball in February.”
Collegian Assistant Sports Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.