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Islanders ready for upcoming season

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Photo by Jonathan Forney/ Island Waves Junior pitcher Aaron Hernandez looks to make an impact.

AMBER CASTILLO
@AMBERCASTILLO27

Bust out the bat and cleats because Islander Baseball is back, and the players are excited to return to the field.

Although last season was pretty rough for the Islanders, they are not letting that get them down. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has a new coaching staff this season and according to senior outfielder Dalton Stark, this year they are making sure the players are putting extra effort in practice. Although the season has not officially started, coaches are taking full advantage of practices, allowing the players to put in the maximum effort of their ability for this coming up season.

“We are really working on a lot of little things and still putting in a lot of effort into our practices this year,” Stark said. “The coaches are really making sure that our practices are more at a fast-pace, game-like speed so we can fully be prepared this season.”

As a starting senior, Stark said he has not let it affect his game and the abilities of his teammates have pushed him to better himself.

“I still have to work every day to be a better hitter and player than I was last year,” Stark said. “We have a lot of good transfers and freshmen that can also swing the bat so that really pushes me to work harder and be a better hitter as well.”

Islanders baseball will take part in the South Texas Showdown this season. On Feb. 20 in Edinburg, Texas they are set to face their rival, the Vaqueros of University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. Stark said this game will be one to look out for.

“I always wanted to attend a school that had a rival team like UT and A&M so to be able to be in that atmosphere so the fact that we get to have that against UTRGV is one of the best feelings,” Stark said. “When it comes down to it, every game is important, but that game is just so much more because it makes you want to play harder and being able to get the victory is really satisfying too.”

Senior infielder and pitcher Jackson Owens said he is glad to have the freshmen and transfers join the team this year.

Owens said last year was not the season they hoped for, but this year they have better tools to improve from last season, especially with the help of returning junior pitcher Aaron Hernandez who took a year off due to an injury but finally healed and is ready to return.

“It’s exciting to be back this season and get to have a purpose to come out here in the spring and be able to compete with the guys again,” Hernandez said. “The whole vibe with the team is good so I am looking forward to see what this season holds for us.”

The Islander baseball season kicks off on Feb. 16 in Arlington, Texas, where fans can come out and support the team. For more information for this year’s baseball season, visit www.goislanders.com.

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