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T-Ducks look to bounce back in second half

By Blanca Reyes
On April 1, 2014

  • Thunderduck Riley Wentz pitches against Howard Payne JV at Richland on March 25. Staff photo Blanca Reyes

At press time Friday, Richland's baseball team was leading a game against Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, 3-1. The game was stopped in the seventh inning due to rain. That game was postponed and scheduled to resume on Sunday.
The Thunderducks had two previous games against Howard Payne JV, where they demonstrated how much they had improved. They won both games by a wide margin, 11-1 and 10-0.
Although the beginning of the season didn't turn out as the team would like, they are ready to take control in the second half.
"We are young and we struggle a little bit. We play about .500, which means we win one and lose one. But we are getting better, so I am looking forward for the second half of the conference," head coach Guy Simmons said.
Richland also has a new assistant baseball coach, Stefan Garret. He has extensive experience. Garret worked with the Brookhaven baseball team for four years before coming to   Richland last fall.
Garret explained that, although they have a lot of freshman and, of course, it is a difficult transition between high school and college, the team is working hard to improve.
"We have a really young team," he said.
The Thunderducks are focused on getting better because only the two top teams will be invited to the national tournament this year instead of four, as was the case until last year.
"We are worried a little bit, but the only thing that you can do is take one game at a time,"  first baseman Trey Eschberger said.
Eschberger is playing for the Thunderducks for the second time. He trusts that the team will play well during the second half because despite the slow beginning he said this year the T-Ducks are playing like a real team. He added that all they have to do is put the pieces together.
Ricky Garcia, a freshman third baseman from Miami, is playing his first season for the T-Ducks. He said the team has had difficulties on the field, but good chemistry that the team has will be reflected in upcoming games.
"As a team, we just need to start bonding more and play together on the field," he said.
Garcia has extensive baseball experience but  knows the college level is more challenging.
"It is way more competitive than in high school," he said.
The team practices every day except game days. They are working hard to improve enough to be one of the teams invited to the national tournament.
"Of course you are frustrated because everyone wants to come out on top," catcher Logan Daniels said.
"There is no reason we can't dig ourselves out of it," he said commenting on the team's  lackluster season so far.
The Thunderducks were scheduled to play two games on Saturday, March 29 against Cedar Valley College at its Lancaster campus.
The T-Ducks are also scheduled to play at home against Texas Wesleyan JV at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. April 2.
For more information about the schedule and result of the baseball or other teams visit or stop by Guadalupe Hall, G-114.

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