By JACE ARMSTRONG
Just a few weeks after the Fall World Series was canceled due to a team member testing positive for COVID-19, the Fort Hays State University baseball team began its fall individual workouts last week.
“These drills and workout sessions last year really helped me feel comfortable when I was at the plate because of the large quantity of reps that we got,” said sophomore outfielder Jaxson Webb.
“It also built some team chemistry being able to work on things together with my teammates nearly each day during the week.”
For many members of the team, the individual workouts are beneficial.
“Individual workouts improved my game substantially last year,” pitcher Zach Berg said. “I was able to work with our outstanding pitching coach Sean Murphy quite a bit and learned a lot from what he had to say. The workout program we had also helped me get a lot stronger and gain some much-needed muscle.”
The redshirt junior made his mark on the program last year, starting seven games and leading the MIAA with 40 innings pitched.
This year, Berg said he plans on setting similar goals moving into individual workouts while “improving the overall strength of my arm and my body, as well as increasing my flexibility.”
With access to the Schmidt-Bickle indoor training facility, the team is able to have small groups work together to refine skills in preparation for the spring 2021 season.
“We do a lot of hitting, breaking down our swings and really toning the fundamentals to them,” Webb said.
Webb proved himself as a true freshman, playing in 24 games during the shortened 2020 season.
The Tigers have high hopes for the upcoming spring under head coach Jerod Goodale.
As the team continues individual workouts, Berg said the importance of continuing to apply what he learns over winter break is crucial.
“I always try to come back from break in better shape than when I left so I know I am prepared for the upcoming season,” he said.
The spring season is still four months away as the team is set to open in early February at Colorado School of Mines.