Blue Raiders Begin Fall Baseball Practice

September 3, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- The Middle Tennessee baseball team began fall practice Tuesday at Reese Smith Field with 43 players on the active roster, as well as a host of walk-ons, under the direction of head coach Steve Peterson.

Peterson returns 19 players from last year's squad, with 24 newcomers on the roster, including Freshman All-America Nate Jaggers and Honorable Mention Freshman All-America Josh Archer. Also included in the list of returnees are starters Chuck Akers, Brett Carroll and Troy Harp. John Williams returns to the mound after missing the second half of the season with a broken hand, as well as hurlers Steven Kines, Chris Mobley and Travis Horschel.

"I am really looking forward to practice because it will be an interesting fall," Peterson said. "We'll see where our recruiting efforts paid off, and I think we are very balanced left and right on the mound.

"Some guys will have to step up and it should be a fun five weeks. Hopefully it will be intense so we can get a good idea of how we want to open the season. You don't have a lot of time in the spring to get ready for the first game."

Last year's squad started three freshmen and two sophomores many days in the everyday lineup, and that experience should pay off this season for players like Archer, Jaggers and Akers.

"Pitchers and hitters have to know how to make adjustments, and that comes with experience. But experience does you no good unless you improve with it," Peterson added. "This will be an important fall, to solidify our infield, find a new shortstop, and fill in a couple of outfield spots vacated last year."

The Blue Raiders will practice this week and scrimmage both Saturday and Sunday this weekend at 2 p.m. and noon, respectively. Twenty-days have been set aside for intrasquad scrimmaging, with the Fall World Series tentatively scheduled for October 3-6.

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