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Vol State Baseball prepares for season opener

Last updated on February 7, 2022

By Ryan Hanna

Despite rain, snow and a slow offseason, the Volunteer State Community College baseball team has been busy. The field has undergone some upgrades and the team is beginning its preseason workouts.

The updated backstop padding was installed by Line to Line LLC. The project was completed Dec. 22, and was funded by the Vol State baseball program.

Game Time Sports Fields remade the bullpens as well, a project that was delayed by weather, but completed Jan. 25. They also helped add dirt to the mound, infield, and home plate earlier in the offseason.

“Great job by @GTSportsFields helping improve our surface adding new dirt to the infield, mound, and home plate!” the Vol State baseball Twitter account tweeted.

“The goal was to improve both of our bullpen areas and our batting cage area to make it more efficient,” said head coach Jim McGuire, “It’s more than just somewhere you go to get loose before you go into a game or throw your bullpen as you’re practicing.”

The 2022 season begins Feb. 11, at Calhoun State Community College and pitcher Caidan Johnson says he is excited for the opener since it’s close by his hometown.

“I’m excited, I got a couple [friends] that play at Calhoun so I’m excited to see them and face off against them,” said Johnson.

On the field, the team began its preseason regimen on Jan. 10. For the players, a new season represents another opportunity to grow and improve their own game as well as helping the team win games.

“I feel like there’s always more to improve on, you’re never going to be perfect in baseball, so definitely there’s some stuff to work on. I think our pitchers need to get a little more focused when we get up there on the mound, get up there with a little more intent,” said pitcher Danton Rinehart.

Vol State added pitching depth Thursday night when they signed right-hander Caden Blackford out of White House High School.

Several former Vol State baseball alumni made news as well. Collin Hopkins, a catcher in 2017,  signed a professional contract with the Minnesota Twins on Jan. 10, and former assistant coach Corvin Scott took an assistant coaching job at Belmont University Jan. 25.

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