In the last of a four-part series previewing the Sacramento State baseball season, senior shortstop Scotty Burcham, a preseason All-WAC selection, previews the upcoming year as the Hornets get set to open the season Friday, Feb. 13th, at John Smith Field against Utah.
1. You have been a three-year starter at shortstop and have been a part of building something special with 105 wins over the past three years. What stands out most during that span?
Winning 105 games in three years can't be done with a group of individuals. So I guess what has stood out the most to me is how well our coaches and players have emphasized how important being a team is.
2. Over the past three years the defense has been ranked near the top 10 in team defense nationally. What can you attribute that to?
Since day one our team has put an emphasis on pitching and defense. We have 105 wins in three years because of those two aspects. Every ground ball counts in practice. Paying attention to detail is important.
3. This year's lineup appears to be young having lost Hoskins, Del Grande and Soto from a year ago. Tell us a little about this years offense and who you expect to step up and fill some of the voids.
We definitely lost some big bats from last year's team, but there are great young guys that can really swing it. We will have a different style offensively with more speed and an ability to hit behind runners.
4. We hear that this year's team is a tight group. How were you guys able to gel so quickly with so many new faces?
Everyone just meshes well. The freshmen came in right away and worked hard on and off the field. When younger guys can come in and show they want to win, it makes it easy.
5. The conference coaches have picked the Hornets first in the pre-season poll. Several other polls have also picked the Hornets to finish first. How do you think this group will handle now having a target on their backs every weekend?
I feel like we were the favorite last season and played with a target on our back in the WAC Tournament. It's a good thing to be the team with the target because it means we have had success. But it is a new year and we need to continue to play at a high level.