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Baseball Making Positive Strides During Fall Ball

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MSU Athletics
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After nearly a month, fall practice for the Morehead State Baseball team will begin winding down soon. Fall practice will conclude with the "Banana Split" World Series that is set to begin on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

"We've had a good fall," said head coach Mike McGuire. "I like what I've seen from our (16) newcomers thus far this fall. We've added a lot of good, young arms to the pitching staff, and their development has me excited for things to come this season."

On the mound, the Eagles have a solid mix of proven pitchers to go along with the talented young arms that have entered the program.

"It's been an exciting and productive fall to this point," said pitching coach Graham Johnson. We've had returners take steps forward from where they were a year ago at this point, and our newcomers are learning how to train the way we expect them to and most importantly what they need to do to put themselves in a position to be successful on the mound."

Returning senior lefty Cable Wright, and juniors Aaron Leasher and David Calderon have impressed this fall.

"Aaron Leasher looks ready to pitch in the Friday night role for us, while David Calderon has made significant strides from last year," said McGuire. "We have a lot of proven guys who have continued to get better, which will make us strong on the mound, as well as offensively."

A major focus for the Eagles has been replacing arms who pitched in key roles a year ago. Following the 2016 season the Eagles lost bullpen arms Tyler Keele and Craig Pearcy, who combined to make 44 appearances. Senior Cable Wright, the MSU career appearances record holder, will play a factor at the back end of the bullpen this spring.

"The fall is about sorting out who all fits where on the pitching staff, whether that is as a starter or out of the bullpen," said McGuire

Positionally, the Eagles return almost all of their position player starters from a year ago.

"Right now, we are banged up from a position player stand point," said McGuire. "Once we get healthy we will be a really good club heading into the spring."

Injuries aside, McGuire likes how his club has developed over the course of the fall.

"Last year, we were a pretty young club. This fall you can see the maturity in the development of the club, specifically among the position players," said McGuire.

The Eagles return a strong nucleus of position players, while adding additional depth to the roster with the addition of six newcomers.

"I think we have had a very productive fall. This is a great time to evaluate ourselves and work to improve both individually and as a group," said hitting coach Adam Brown.

The Eagles are looking to continue their success at the plate following a productive spring.

"One of the areas we wanted to focus on after this past spring was plate discipline. It's a work in progress, but we've made good strides to this point," added Brown.

The Fall World Series kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 26. The Eagles will play a five-game series with games on Oct. 28-Nov. 1. Team rosters and a complete World Series schedule will be available on MSUEagles.com early next week.

"I think we are looking forward to our Fall World Series that will begin soon. The most important quality we want in our guys is the will to compete," said Johnson. "Whether the game comes easy or not on a given day, stay in the moment and compete for your teammates. The Fall World Series always gives us a little deeper look in which to evaluate our guys."

The Eagles will wrap fall practice with a Halloween-themed Marathon game on Oct. 31. The game will feature each of the Eagle players donning a costume of their choice.

Story provided by (MSU Athletics)