We sat down with senior baseball starters Evan McDonald, Ryan Cleveland and Cal Baker from the baseball team to find out more about them and to see their perspective on the game.
Is there any pregame rituals that you do?
Cal: Not really anything special, just whatever Coach Hennon has us doing.
Ryan: I try and focus and visualize a couple of at bats in the locker room to get my mind right.
Evan: I don’t like to eat before games. I get so nervous that it messes up my stomach.
Cal: I just like to hunt and fish.
Ryan: I like hunting and fishing as well.
Evan: Only one hobby outside of this, playing video games. I’m an avid FIFA player, ranked #757 in the world.
When did you start playing baseball?
Cal: Five or six years old.
Ryan: About the time I could stand up and I was big enough to hold a bat.
Evan: When I was three, I would tag along with my brother to the ball field all the time, when he was seven and use the pitching machine and hitting the cages, and pretty soon I signed up for t-ball.
Any professional player you look up to?
Cal: My boy, Derek Jeter.
Ryan: I like Albert Pujols, he’s probably my favorite player.
Evan: Definitely Derek Jeter, same as Cal.
Any goals after you graduate?
Cal: Hopefully winning a Sun Belt championship first, and then moving on with life. I guess I’m getting old, so starting a family and getting a job.
Ryan: Winning the Sun Belt first of all would be sweet, and then seeing where the baseball career takes me and playing at the next level for a little while.
Evan: I don’t graduate for another year, so that’s a goal.
What superstitions do you guys have?
Cal: I used to put everything on at a certain time. I put my wristbands on a certain way, and wear tape the same way every game, and if you have a bad game you redo it the next game.
Ryan: When I walk up to the plate, I kick the dirt twice, and when I put my batting gloves on, I put my right one on first.
Evan: I’m not big into superstitions.
Favorite place to go on the road and play?
Cal: Louisiana-Lafayette. The fans are crazy, they get 7,000 people a night, and it’s pretty wild.
Ryan: Louisiana-Lafayette for sure. The atmosphere is great there.
Evan: Probably Georgia Tech. I like the field there, the atmosphere and they’ve had a lot of good players that have been there, so it’s pretty cool.
What’s your thoughts on facing two top ranked teams in the conference this year, the defending national champions, Coastal Carolina, and Louisiana-Lafayette?
Cal: Last year we were right there with them. We beat Lafayette once, and we could’ve beat them any other time we played. It’s going to be a good challenge, but like Cleveland said, we could beat anybody we play.
Ryan: New year, it doesn’t really matter. I feel confident in what we have, so I would put us up against anybody really.
Evan: I’m not that worried about it, I think that with the team we are bringing back, we should handle those guys. I know they both lost a lot of guys. I think if anything, they should be worried about us.
Thoughts on the new ballpark renovations and wall?
Cal: It’s pretty sweet. it makes you feel like you’re at a big league ballpark, and it makes you want to show out for the new stadium.
Ryan: Just the atmosphere around here really. Now that we have a new field, there’s a new feeling going around.
Evan: It’s awesome. I’ve never played on a field like it, and to call it our home field is really cool. I think there’s not another wall like it in college baseball, so it gives us a feel of Fenway, but in right.