By Tim Klapac, Sports Editor
Photo courtesy of Towson Baseball Twitter
Last season, Towson endured many growing pains under first-year head coach Matt Tyner, finishing with a 13-42 record, going6-18 in conference play. Tyner believes that will all change as a slew of new players are geared to take the field and kick off a new season.
“We went back to recruiting character as much as we did ability,” Tyner said. “Last year, you saw one, maybe two guys in a cage together. This year, there’s six, seven, eight guys.”
There are many areas that the Tigers looks to improve upon this season, and it starts with building team chemistry with this new group of players. Towson traveling to North Carolina, Georgia, and California in the first month of the season is a rare, early opportunity to create that chemistry
“It is important for us to build a little bit of chemistry not only on the field, but off the field and the best way to do that is when you’re sequestered on a trip with 42 of your favorite people,” Tyner said.
Another area of concern is on the mound, where the Tigers led the conference in both wild pitches and passed balls last season. Assistant Coach Miles Miller expressed his confidence in addressing this issue.
“We’ve added more depth, we’re a little more balanced and more mature with our mentality on the mound,” Miller said. “We felt like we had some good arms at the front last year, we asked them to do so much that at some point they hit a wall.”
With only 12 players returning from last year’s roster, there is a changing of the guard in terms of leadership, and senior infielder Richard Miller is taking on that role.
Miller is the returning home run hitter on the roster, and he made significant strides over the summer, capturing the Prospect League’s Mike Schmidt Player of the Year Award.
“This summer, he went off with a new confidence and came back a much better hitter,” said Assistant Coach Tanner Biagini. “You take some young freshmen, and if they can look up to him and copy his work ethic, we’re going to be in a good place.”
The rebuilding process taken on by coach Tyner involves more than just wins and losses, but growing the program overall, and the improvements made to John B. Schuerholz Park are a sign of this growth.
Towson opened its season at Davidson over the weekend and prepare to head off to Kennesaw State this weekend. The Tigers’ home opener against Lehigh is scheduled for March 1 at 2 p.m. at Schuerholz Park.