The USU club baseball team heralded the start of fall ball with its open tryouts, hosted last Tuesday and Wednesday at the Richard V. Hansen Ballpark in Smithfield. While it’s primarily a time for new players to show their skills, the returning players don’t take this opportunity lightly.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve been guaranteed a spot,” said senior Alex Munns. “Either way I would come back and coach if I didn’t make it, just cause I like the program.”
Former players coaching the team is not a foreign concept as Jacob Anderson, who played on last year’s squad, is taking the coaching reins this season for the first time.
“He’s been here, he’s done it, he’s seen the team through the player’s eyes and now he’s gonna coach it and I think it’s awesome,” said junior Justice Purser. “I’ve played with him for two years and he’s an awesome guy.”
While the team has had sustained success the past few years — the Aggies played in the club World Series last season — it hasn’t been able to raise the national championship trophy that it claimed in 2012 and 2014. The championship remains the ultimate goal for this team.
“We’ve been so close ever since and each year we’ve been getting a little bit better,” Munns said. “Last year we made it back there and this year we’ll make a pretty good push.”
An influx of talent from the tryouts should help the team with that goal.
“I would say it was better than last year, talent-wise,” Purser said. “We are filling a few spots but overall it went pretty well and I’m pretty excited about it.”