UT Tyler to open baseball season this weekend
Dallas (2-2)
#20 UT Tyler (1-0)
2/6/2016 | Tyler, Tx | Attendance: 425
UT Tyler0001001230
Win: Cason Adams (1-0) 7.041107
Loss: Blake Palmer (0-1) 0.111020
Cole Wessling (UDBASE) 313101
Trenton Buchhorn (UTT) 311000
Brady McCoy (UTT) 301100
Ben Romines (UTT) 101000

Friday, February 5, 2016
by Logan Smoak || lsmoak@patriots.uttyler.edu

TYLER - The No. 20/22-ranked UT Tyler baseball team is set to have opening day at Irwin Field this Saturday against the University of Dallas with 3 p.m. a doubleheader (7/9) followed by the series finale at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The Patriots are coming off a 34-12 season last year that landed them as the American Southwest Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champions and a trip to the Regional Tournament under the direction of Chris Bertrand who is now entering his fourth season as head coach. Coach Bertrand has encompassed 87 wins during his time with the Patriots and is looking to have another exceptional season.

“I think we’ve had a really good two weeks of practice here and are ready to go,” Bertrand said. “We’ve been sharpening some of our weaknesses this week and have been preparing for our opponent. It’s been a very productive two weeks of practice and our guys are really ready to get going and play someone else. We’re ready to put on the same colors, be in the same dugout and being one team."

With several All-Conference players returning for the Patriots, the team is set and ready to get season under way feeling confident in the direction they are headed. The Patriots were picked to win the ASC title in the conference's preseason poll and enter the season ranked No. 20 by Perfect Game and No. 22 by D3baseball.com. 

“We’re excited about how we played in the Fall and can't wait to get going,” UT Tyler pitcher Chad Hayes said. “We feel like we are going to have a good season, we’re confident on all three sides of baseball; hitting, pitching and fielding so everyone is excited and ready to get started.”

Along with a stacked team returning, the field is getting improvements as well. With a new video board out in left field the game day experience is sure to be amplified with player profiles, intro videos and other clips to highlight the athletes. Along with the video board, the dugouts received new rubber flooring and the batting cages are covered with lights to aide in the teams practice regimen. 

“Coach Bert and Coach Eric told me about all of the advancements to the field and it just made me want to come play here even more,” Junior transfer Trenton Buchhorn said. “Just to play for a program like this, it really makes you feel good.”

Coach Bert and the team are looking forward to hosting the Crusaders saying it will be quality baseball played on all sides and it will be a great matchup for opening weekend. The Crusaders of UD are coming off a 10-26 overall record during their 2015 campaign. 

“Dallas is going to be a great opponent and challenge for us during the first weekend,” Bertrand said. “We’re going to be a fun ball club to watch and are looking forward to getting this going.”