The Parthenon

Herd baseball team sets eyes on conference tourney

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Marshall University junior outfielder Corey Bird takes the field during a game last season.

Marshall University junior outfielder Corey Bird takes the field during a game last season.

Photo courtesy of Marshall University

Photo courtesy of Marshall University

Marshall University junior outfielder Corey Bird takes the field during a game last season.

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The spring season is upon us. And just as winter always keeps its promise of frigid temperatures and snowy sidewalks, since May 14, 1896, spring has always kept one promise to Marshall University: baseball.

Every day at Marshall’s new indoor athletic facility, around 1 p.m., you will hear the clanking of bats and the popping of gloves.

The sound is that of the 2016 Marshall baseball team putting in the work it believes will make history this upcoming season.

If there is one thing every player on the Herd’s baseball team has on their minds, it is making it to the Conference USA tournament.

However, three of its senior leaders are not content with simply making it to the tournament.

Aaron Bossi, senior infielder from St. Louis, Missouri, said he thinks his team is more than capable of making the tournament, so he is aspiring for greater heights.

“Being here four years, we’ve never even made the tournament,” Bossi said. “But for me, making the tournament this year isn’t even enough. I think this team is a regional team, and I think that should be our goal.”

The 2016 team should not be taken lightly. Despite its 2015 C-USA record (12-18), the Herd made big strides last season finishing 3-1 in its last four games with the lone loss coming against Western Kentucky University.

The Herd wrapped up its 2015 season with a 7-6 victory over Louisiana Tech University, but the win was not enough to secure a spot in the tournament.

JD Hammer, senior pitcher from Fort Collins, Colorado and Chase Boster, senior pitcher from Stafford, Virginia, were both expected to go into the 2015 MLB draft in early June. However, both players fell short of being selected.

Last season, Boster led the Herd with a 7-1 overall record to go with a 2.95 ERA, while Hammer tied for the team lead with 56 strikeouts.

The returning duo, which will likely be one of the Herd’s deadliest weapons this season, both said they have one thing on their minds – winning.

“Obviously our goal this season is making it to the tournament,” Hammer said. “But we want to expand on that and make it to a regional and then possibly to a world series.”

Boster said the seniors have a lot to live up to in their final season, but they all have the drive and motivation to get the job done.

Brittanie Fowler can be contacted at [email protected]

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