While the NM State baseball season is only two weeks away from starting, there is much anticipation to see if the Aggies can have a successful repeat of last year with 35 wins and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
As always, strategy is a key element in the team's success. Head coach Rocky Ward is looking for new leadership after losing key players from last season's team. The Aggies have to replace right-hand pitcher Scott Coffman, school record holder for saves in a season and career, along with shortstop Zach Voight.
"Athletic-wise we had a very good fall, we feel like in physical talent we haven't lost anything," Ward said. "It's a matter of where the leadership will come from."
Ward added it's easy for his players to be leaders when they're playing well but the unknown leadership shows when they're not at their top level and can still impact the team.
Ward hopes that returning shortstop Parker Hipp and outfielder Kyle Phillips will lead the team in 2013 along with pitcher Adam Mott and Las Cruces native Michael Ormseth. NM State also has strong and developing newcomers in freshman Kent Blackstone, who is predicted to start at second base, while junior transfer Quinnton Mack looks to be a starter in the outfield.
NM State's Adam Mott, Parker Hipp, Tanner Rust and Kyle Phillips made the College Madness WAC Preseason All-Conference team and Hipp has also been named a Louisville Slugger All-American.
Aggie fans are encouraged to go and support their baseball team this season with 26 opportunities to see them play at Presley Askew Field. With the continuing development of the returning players and newcomers this season will be nothing less than entertaining.
The Aggie baseball season will begins Feb. 9 with the Annual Alumni Game at Presley Askew Field at 2 p.m.