UT Tyler baseball team heading to postseason tournament
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Now focused on the postseason, this is the first postseason of eligibility for the UT Tyler Patriots, who are heading to Kingsville with plenty of confidence and hitting power. Five players are hitting over 300.
“I mean it’s pretty nice knowing that any day you go to the ballpark and show up and do the job that needs to be done,” said Kyle McShaffry, a Patriots slugger. “I mean being able to have a team that hits above 300 makes it easier on the pitchers and makes it easier to win ball games. And it relaxes everyone.”
McShaffry is known to his teammates as “Slap” - not because of what happened at the Academy Awards last month. He says his name’s too long, so Slap it is. By any name, however, he’s among the team leaders at Irwin Field.
The team took three of four from 25th ranked Lubbock Christian this past weekend. That’s how you go into a conference tournament - winning.
“Without a doubt that was a huge weekend, to win three out of four. It’s nice to have a quality opponent like that,” said Patriots coach Brent Porche. “Those guys do a tremendous job. Coach Blackwood has been there for a long time. And those guys are great, so if you have a quality opponent like that in the year really prepared you going to the postseason.”
This team admits they have their flaws, but you wouldn’t know because the culture of the campus is one of winning in and out of the classroom.
“We come here every day, and we practice as hard as we can,” said Patriots pitcher Garrett Arredondo. “We have a saying that our goal for the season is to field 979; that’s pretty good. And we’re right there. A couple more games we’re going to get there.”
Arredondo said as soon one steps onto the UT Tyler campus, he or she can feel there is something different about the college.
“You know when you get here you are here for a reason, to win at whatever you are doing,” Arredondo said. “I think that’s pretty much understood across the board whether it’s baseball, softball, volleyball, or basketball. Everybody here is a winner, and that is what we strive for is to win.”
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