CHARLESTON, S.C. – Practice officially begins for the 2016 season for the CSU Baseball Team with a scrimmage on Jan. 29, but the Buccaneers are actually already five months into preparation for Head Coach Stuart Lake's eighth season at CSU.
The Bucs will spend the next 10 days gearing up for a slew of scrimmages when practice starts next Friday. The team will scrimmage Friday-Sunday in their opening weekend of practice as they hit the ground running ahead of their Feb. 19 opener against West Virginia.
"This isn't spring training," Lake said of the two weeks his team has before practice officially begins. "We have about five weeks between school starting back and playing our first game, so we have to be ready to work and be sharp coming out of the holiday."
The Bucs have been in-and-out of individual and team practices since arriving on campus in August in preparation for almost a 60-game season, all crammed into three short months. With 12 seniors and already a half-year of work toward the season, Lake expects his team to be mature and mentally ready for a schedule that includes weekend series with West Virginia and South Carolina in the season's first month.
"I always tell our freshmen, you're a freshman the whole year, but we expect you to act like a sophomore." Lake added. "You know where you're eating, sleeping, and where your classes are. You've been through a semester, we expect you to be able to come out and focus on baseball right away, because we play such a quality schedule early."
If nothing else, until this week, CSU has benefitted from an unseasonably warm January, weather Lake would welcome through the end of February.
"It's been nice here early," Lake added. "To be out here in shorts and short sleeves for a few days is a nice break, but it's going to cool off next week. Adjusting to the weather is just part of college baseball."
SCRIMMAGE SCHEDULE: CSU will scrimmage six times in their first nine days of practice. Scrimmages are set for Friday-Sunday (Jan. 29-31) and Thursday-Saturday (Feb. 4-6). Feb. 4 is expected to be an evening scrimmage.