The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

2020 Spring baseball preview

It’s spring and a new Panthers baseball season is underway. Panthers fans will see some familiar players returning from last season who offer maturity and depth to the roster, according to head coach Derek Sullivan, who added that the team will keep focusing on player development, hoping to go all the way to the state championship.

The Panthers have begun the season with a 7-0 record. In their first seven winning games, they have relied heavily on offense and getting runs early, according to Sullivan. 

“Our aim is to put the team in a better position to win games and ultimately to win a state championship,” said Sullivan. “This season we have a lot of experienced players, and all players are expected to fill important key roles. Skill is abundant throughout the team, so refining players’ strengths and capitalizing on them is crucial.”

This Panthers team finished third place in the state in the Final Four last year. This year the Panthers stack up to any other neighboring community college talent-wise, making a championship seem obtainable, according to Sullivan. Panthers baseball would gain their sixth state title if they win this year. 

Panthers players say that they expect a lot out of each other and emphasize respect.

“Our expectation isn’t only to emphasize winning,” said pitcher Ryan Costeiu. “It’s also how we play, treat each other and how we treat our coaches.” 

“The importance of treating others and coaches with respect is something we try to foster,” according to Sullivan.

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“A great thing about this season is players having the experience the team needs and that they are each contributing to the team’s mission statement,” Sullivan said. 

The team creates a mission statement to make sure that every player aligns with the team’s goals. Sullivan said that the team’s focus is on controlling things that are possible off the field, such as respecting each other and being good people.

“The better people you have in your organization, the better you’re going to be,” said Sullivan.

“Culture is a big part of the Panthers team,” said pitcher T.J. Smith. “Panthers will continue the tradition of best speed. When getting anywhere during game time, Panthers players never walk—they run full speed as if it was a race.” 

“It’s an all-encompassing type of tradition,” said Sullivan. “It gets players to give their best effort with every breath they take. Panthers baseball has practiced this tradition for years now.”

The Panthers’ next home game against the Mission College Saints will be Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. at Union Stadium. General admission is $10 and is free for City College students with a current student ID.

“Fans this spring should expect exciting games, continuing traditions and to see some talented individual players at the games,” said Sullivan.

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