Snow falling in Nashville as baseball opens practice
Friday, January 29, 2010
Snow falling in Nashville as baseball opens practice
Snowballs were more appropriate than baseballs at the first day of official practice for college teams.

But the weather did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the Lipscomb Bisons.

“The energy of just knowing it is the first day of practice is fun for everybody,” said Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand. “We will have to push everything back.”

Forehand is anxious to get Josh Smith, Matt Bowling and Davey Hackett on the mound. They are expected to form the three-man starting rotation this season for the weekend series against Atlantic Sun teams.

“This first weekend we wanted to give them at least three opportunities to get on the mound live,” Forehand said. “Now it will be pushed back to Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of next week or whenever it dries up.”

Forehand wants to have each of the pitchers throwing at least 60 pitches by the time each one makes his third outing in practice.

“I am not as concerned about them as much as I am about the amount of days we can get outside as a team,” Forehand said. “Nashville weather is sometimes crazy. We might get 10 days of 30 degree weather or 10 days of 40 degree weather.

“In my younger days as a coach I would have worried about it. But we can’t control the weather. We will do what we can.”

Forehand thinks that practice is still fun for his players, but they are anxious to start the regular season when Murray State visits Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium for a three-game series beginning Feb. 19.

“Our players are ready to play games right now,” Forehand said. “They are excited about the season starting. Even being inside the atmosphere was pretty good.

“They are ready for competition sooner. Now it is three weeks of practice and they are ready to go. When I played we would practice for six or eight weeks before our first game.”

Forehand has 21 newcomers, but he opens spring practice with most positions set.

“There are going to be a lot of new faces in the games,” Forehand said. “We feel like they are ready to go. It is a matter of getting them out there and seeing how they stack up against other Division I competition.

“We have a big number of guys who can be in the games. These scrimmages will tell how our parts fit. We have a couple of players with some nagging injuries. But when we are healthy we are going to have several options.”

By Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations