Trojan baseball team begins fall camp

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Troy Trojans baseball team is hitting the field for the 2016 fall camp.

In head coach Mark Smartt’s first year, the Trojans finished with a 32-26 overall record. The Trojans hope to knock off the rust and answer key questions in advance of the season opener in late February 2017.

The Trojans will welcome back Chase Smartt, Joey Denison and Corey Childress, all of whom were Summer League All Stars.

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“We have a quite a few returning players, and there is a lot continuity and carry over,” Smartt said. “I am very confident with the plan this fall. We are going to go day by day and get better. That is what the fall is for.”

The Trojans will use the month long camp to welcome back the returning players as well as welcome and evaluate the new players.

“I have some understanding and confidence with what the returning players can or can’t do,” Smartt said. “The fall is really about trying to develop the new players, making them feel comfortable with what we are doing and learn more about them. We have seven freshman and six transfers, so this is an important fall for all of those guys to try and impact our team.

“We will get to learn more and more about each guy and what he is capable and what role he will play, whether if it’s a prominent or back up role.”

The Trojans will spend the next month competing with one another in practice as well as scrimmages. During the first two days of practice over the weekend, the Trojans participated in small group sessions that focused heavily on fundamentals. This week begins a combination of a team fundamental phase before they enter the final phase of competition, where they will compete with each other.

“We get to judge the competiveness of each player,” Smartt said. “When we play intrasquad games that’s when you can kind of sense the competition level of each player, good or bad. That is the most important thing, who is going to be able to compete at this level.”

The Trojans will compete in 16 intrasquad scrimmages during the month of October as well as a Sunday game against the Ontario Blue Jays. At the beginning of November the Trojans will play a best two-out-of-three Intrasquad World Series. For the series, two seniors will split the team down the middle and the players will both play and manage and the coaches will serve as umpires during the game.

“It’s the one and only time that when you argue with an umpire you’re automatically ejected,” Smartt said. “It’s a good way for them to end. It’s a lot of work and this is a way for them to have a little fun and compete with another.”