If you had told the GU baseball team over Christmas Break that come April 1st we’d be learning at home and there would be NO baseball, we would have said, “You’re killing me, Smalls!” However, even though the Greenville Panther Baseball team is not on the field, there has been a lot going on! The team renovated the Briner Indoor Facility with new netting throughout the facility and added a weight room for the Panthers. For what is going on in the Panther Baseball program, Coach Lynn Carlson and Assistant Coach Andy Rincker offered an inside look.
Both coaches agreed these are unrepresented times. “Hopefully, we have all learned some lessons from this experience. It hasn’t all been bad. Spending this intense time with our families and loved ones has forced some to re-connect in ways that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I’m thankful for the warmer temperatures and to see some green popping up on trees. The slower pace has helped me appreciate those things a little more” Carlson stated. Even though these challenging times, work is still getting done. “Our guys are currently getting after it in their online courses. They have all been sent home which is disappointing but understandable. I know that some of them are continuing to work out and throw at their own pace. We are in constant contact with them and are eagerly awaiting a moment we can all reconvene on campus”, said Rincker to explain what is going on.
With the amazing showing, the outlook looked promising! “I felt like we were starting to gain some very good momentum. We were starting to play solid defense and we were throwing the baseball well. I felt like we were in a good position and were starting to charge forward into conference play,” remarked Rincker. With an impressive senior class, the Panthers had a lot of young guys step up like Drew Frey and Brady Maltbie. Carlson explained, “Drew and Brady were off to strong starts for us. No doubt about that and they have very promising careers ahead of them. I’m excited to be a part of that. But, we also have some other players who will return next year that I believe will be ready. For us to continue to move forward as a program, we will need to continue to help our guys develop and bring in some more talent around the guys that are here right now. That’s our task.”
A situation for all schools to deal with right now especially is recruiting. Carlson said, “From a recruiting perspective, it’s all hands on deck. Dan Wilcher is working with some recruiting companies to identify young men who haven’t yet committed for next year and [Coach Rincker] and I are trying to make the connections and get them on board here at Greenville. On top of that, I am circling our recruiting class in prayer and trusting that the Lord will bring to Greenville Baseball the young men He wants to be impacted by GU and the program. Pray as though it all depends on God and work as though it all depends on you. That’s the plan.”
Austin Rexroad was a senior pitcher for the Greenville Panthers and he is going to try to return to help out the Panthers next year when he is going to get his Master’s degree in Business. “If everything works out with getting a job a the school, I will enjoy being around the guys year hopefully helping out at practices and games.” Switching from playing to helping out is going to be a change for Rexroad but he is up for the task. “I’ve really loved being able to play for 15 years of my life. But at some point, you have to switch over to the coaching aspect. Being able to put my baseball knowledge to use and giving back to other kids will be something I’m looking forward to.”