By Rachel Kearney
Olivet baseball is using the fall to better prepare for their official season in the spring.
The team played two doubleheaders against Kankakee Community College, going 2-1-1. They will face KCC two more times and will also continue to scrimmage against themselves.
“They’re not bad,” said junior outfielder Adrian Perez of the games they have had thus far. “They help us to see what we need to work on.”
Perez and his teammates work on those things they need to improve nearly every day in practice. He said each of their practices has a specific focus for the day and has different drills for different positions.
Redshirt junior catcher David Mitroff said the team benefits from having a fall season, especially after losing players and gaining new ones.
“Whenever you have a new group of guys you have to get back up to speed,” said Mitroff, who was an NCCAA Second-Team All-American last year.
“Freshmen get introduced to what [head coach Todd Reid] wants us to be,” he said. “And veterans are reminded of the philosophy of the program.”
The team graduated two seniors from last year’s team, which went 33-25 and participated in the NCCAA Division I World Series. One of those seniors was Chris Hammett, who was named the NCCAA Player of the Year. This fall, the team gained seven new freshmen, and both Mitroff and Perez said they were impressed with their new teammates.
Many members of the team also played in baseball leagues over the summer to continue to improve their skills. The team started workouts two weeks after returning to Olivet and will continue to workout even after their last fall games during the weekend of Oct. 19.
While the official season starts in February, Perez and Mitroff said they look forward to what the team will accomplish.
“I think we’re going to be better than last year,” Mitroff said.