Tech baseball prepares for tough schedule

Tech baseball has a lot to look forward in preparation for the upcoming season with 30 home games, nine nationally-ranked opponents and two new assistant coaches.

The 2012 season will be the eighth year for head coach Matt Bragga at Tech and he said he expects this season to be the most exciting yet.

“I think this is the best schedule that we have had since I’ve been here,” Bragga said in a news release on the Tech Sports website. “Not only do we have 30 games at home, but we are facing several of the best teams in the country like Missouri State, Texas Tech, Kentucky and Clemson, among others.”

Even though Tech is in the Ohio Valley Conference, one of the smaller conferences in the country, they will still go up against teams from the bigger conferences in the nation, like the SEC, ACC and Big 12.

“There is no doubt we will be challenged,” said Assistant Coach Matt Mihoci via e-mail. “But we have enough talent on the mound to beat anybody we step on the field with so we feel very confident about our team.”

Mihoci, along with Brandon Turner, was hired as a new assistant coach this year. Both coaches are former Golden Eagles, knowing the program inside and out.

“I know how coach [Bragga] likes to do things, so we are definitely on the same page,” said Mihoci via e-mail. “I also know exactly what our players our going through since I was in their shoes a few years ago, so it is easy for me to relate to the challenges they face as student athletes.”

In order to mentally prepare the baseball team for the season, Bragga said he is transforming his players by the renewing of their minds.

Bragga said he wants relationships within the team based off encouragement, not discouragement. He also said that bickering and strife are going to tear a team down, but encouragement and support builds it up, and he wants other baseball teams to see something special in Tech baseball.

The Tech baseball team will begin the 2012 season in Lubbock, Texas at the Red Raider Classic on Feb. 17. The Golden Eagles will begin their home stand on Feb. 24, starting a three-game series with Illinois State. Admission to home games is free.