JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 30, 2010) - The ETSU baseball team begins the 2011 season Friday, Feb. 18 as the Marist Red Foxes come to town. Every day, leading up to the first pitch, different members of the 2011 squad will check in with Buccaneer fans. Today junior outfielder Matthew Scruggs is stopping by to answer a few questions.
With the season right around the corner which team do you most look forward to facing?
We have a really good schedule this year and its always fun to play those big schools like Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and N.C. State, but all the conference series are the most important. When I first got our schedule the first thing I looked for was the series against Mercer. They were the conference tournament champs and got the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament last year, and that's what we want this year. Also they ended our season last year, and I think that has made me hungrier to play them this year. So I'm definitely looking forward to the last regular season series in Macon, Ga. against Mercer, its going to be a battle but we'll be ready.
What was your most memorable moment from last year's season?
The most memorable moment for me was at the conference tournament in an elimination game against Florida Gulf Coast. I hit the go ahead homerun in the 8th inning, and we closed out the game in the 9th and ended their season, while also keeping our season alive. It was also a memorable moment because since I've been here they have always been the team to beat, and that was our first win against them.
Which newcomers do you think will make an impact on the 2011 season?
We got a lot of new talented guys in this year and they will all have an impact this season for us. I believe our two new Juco transfer pitchers John Long, Dak Rissman, and freshman Clinton Freeman will all have big impacts for us this year. They're all great pitchers with good stuff, and I think they will have great seasons on the mound. Also Long, Freeman, and another transfer Dylan Pratt will strengthen our lineups with their bats. All three of them have some power and can hit.
You had a breakout season in 2010, how do you feel you have improved from last season, and how much of an impact to you think new bats will make on the college game?
Throughout the off-season I'd trying to improve my whole game. Especially in the weight room, I have been trying to get faster and stronger. I'm never satisfied with my hitting and defense, and I never will be so I'm always trying to improve in both of them. I think the new bats will have a major impact on the college game. Since we have been using them in practice it seems like a completely different game. It may take some time to get used to the new bats, but I know our team will make the adjustment.
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