Jonathan Boldt and Alex Rivera chat about the upcoming season for the UVU baseball team.
Jonathan: It was really interesting talking to coach (Eric) Madsen. Most coaches would shy away from answering questions about joining another conference and just give the rehearsed answers, but he came right out and said their goal is to earn their way to a better conference with an automatic bid to the tournament.
Alex: It’s going to be a while before they get into another conference, but when they do they will be playing at a much higher level and will have earned it. Now that they are getting recognition by the WAC things should start to move a little quicker towards joining.
Jonathan: I don’t know that it’s recognition more than rejection, so maybe they aren’t so close!
Alex: True. The main thing I got from Madsen is that he wants to be in the postseason and they are going to do everything they can to get there.
Jonathan: Last year the Wolverines finished 22-2 in conference and pretty much had their way with the GWC. What stood out to you about how they accomplished that?
Alex: What’s weird is you look at their run totals for each inning and they average about 30 runs per inning except for the third. For some r eason they more than double that production with something like 75 runs in that one inning, but then in the seventh eighth and ninth innings they only scored 37 runs combined. So they needed to score early to be able to hang on towards the end.
Jonathan: It’s really easy to over-analyze things in baseball, but it’s called the thinking man’s game for a reason. With that large of a change in run output, you have to think it’s because of the batters getting a second look at the pitcher, but the other side to that coin is that after a couple of at-bats the other team can see their tendencies and eventually they cancel each other out as the game goes on.
Alex: Interestingly enough, they were 5-1 last year in extra innings. That shows they can figure it out when it matters most even though the runs dry up in later innings. I’m kind of interested to see the new guys, the guys coming back are more known and you kind of understand what they can do. Do you think the freshmen will have much impact this year?
Jonathan: I think they will get a shot to earn it. But with the guys coming back they would really have to go out and take it from somebody. It won’t be handed to them for sure. I think with Madsen it’s all about winning and whoever gives them the best chance to win will be out there. In the end, though, I believe there is too much returning talent from a very successful team from last year for the freshman to make much noise.