Ryan Wilson, a junior left-handed
pitcher for the Waves, tells us about the upcoming season and how the Waves
have been preparing and waiting for the season to finally come. The Waves take
on Saint Joseph's this weekend at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
Q: Baseball season is finally upon us. What is the excitement level in the team right now leading up to the first series of the year?
A: We are really excited
to finally get out on the field and showcase what we have been working on this
year. It has been a long offseason, but a good one, and I think that I speak
for everyone in saying that we just want to start playing.
Q: What were preparations like this year compared to the other years you have been here? Anything different that was done that you felt had a really positive impact on the team?
A: This year, the position players ran with the pitchers in the mornings. It was definitely a positive impact because it really helped with the team camaraderie more so than past years, where our morning practices are separate.
Q: How does the semester break affect the performance of the team? It must be a welcome break, but there is always the fear that having that break can be a negative aspect to the team.
A: There is definitely a potential fear to it. However, everyone on the team knows that there is a job to do during that break. We take it upon ourselves to make sure we get the work in to prepare for when we come back to school. I also think that the motivation of being able to start playing games after break makes the break a little more focused on baseball, so when we come back, there isn't a lull in practices where we have to readjust to baseball again.
Q: How have the freshmen meshed with the team? Were they able to fit in right away? And the transfers as well?
A: All the freshmen proved that they're going to fight for the rest of the guys and you're going to see a lot of freshmen come in big for us this year, which will show how much work they've put in to help this team win. The same goes for the two transfers we have. Unfortunately, Duncan McKinnon will have to sit out a year, but both he and Austin Gehle, the other transfer, know their roles and are doing everything they can to help the team. Gehle for sure is going to come up big for the team during the year.
Q: You played in the Cape Cod League this past summer. What was that experience like?
A: It was fun. I learned a lot. There was definitely a lot of baseball. I think that the best part about playing in the Cape is the friends you make. I for sure made some life-long friends while playing. The coaches were incredible too. Really high quality baseball with awesome people around you.
Q: What were some of the things that you learned in the Cape that have really helped you out so far this year?
A: Our pitching coach was kind of a guru about pitching. Personally, he taught me a lot of different grips on the ball in order to make it spin a certain way. I have definitely been using the grips he showed me to make the ball move to where I want it to move, even within the same pitches.
Q: The Waves did not make an NCAA Regional last year after making one the previous two years. How motivating has that been so far in wanting to get back to the postseason?
A: I think it will make it just that much better if and when we do make it. At the same time, we are taking the year every day at a time, and taking the season pitch by pitch and game by game in order to be as successful as we want to be. We can't look to the past and use that as motivation because we need to look to the future and focus on the job ahead of us.
Q: You are pegged to win WCC Pitcher of the Year by D1 Baseball. Does that motivate you to fulfill that, or do you try keep that off of your mind?
A: Again, it is motivating, but those types of things take care of themselves if you stick to your approach and keep the same game plan day after day. If I focus on trying to fulfill that idea, I am going to get away from my game plan, so I keep my mind off of it.
Q: Finally, with the season just around the corner, what can we expect from the Waves this year?
A: I think that you can expect some fun baseball. When we play our Pepperdine baseball, it is hard for any team in the country to beat us. If you come to the games, expect to see some really good baseball, and expect to see guys showing off what we have been working on and guys being really successful in doing so.