Oct. 16, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – With the Black and Gold World Series just around the corner, UCFKnights.com caught up with UCF assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kevin Schnall, who spoke about the Knights’ catchers, hitting approach and much more in our third installment of our weekly baseball fall update.
UCFKnights.com: This year is a little unique compared to past years as the Knights did not return a catcher from the previous year’s squad. What has been your impression of the catching position through three weeks?
KS: First off, I’ve shown them all a lot of tough love. The progression has been very good. I truly believe our catchers are the hardest working catchers in the country. With that being said, there is a period of “Holy Cow!” when they first get here that I think they are starting to get past that and show a lot of positive things. I look forward to see more progression as they keep working.
UCFKnights.com: You are the hitting coordinator for the team as well. What have you been most pleased with offensively speaking through three weeks?
KS: For us to excel as a group, we really talk about three things. Number one is developing daily routines. Second is the ability to make adjustments both physically and mentally. Third is committing to an approach. That’s really been our main focus and our emphasis this fall and we’ve seen a lot of great things. One thing that we really feel confident about with our team this year is the ability to have a more balanced offense. What I mean by balance is to have power, speed and the ability to execute the inside game which will make it more difficult for teams to defend us.
UCFKnights.com: Has there been one player that’s really stood out so far in terms of showing improvement early on?
KS: It would be hard for me not to single out Tommy Williams. He’s really had a tremendous fall. He had some ups and downs last year but as a staff we really believe in him and think he has the tools to be one of the best players in the country. Every single day he walks on the field, he has the physical tools to be as good as anyone else on the field that day. This fall he’s really climbed that ladder to become a different player. We’re really expecting big things out of him.
UCFKnights.com: There were 12 umpires out here today getting practice reps just like our players. How helpful is it to have skilled umpires out here working with the team every scrimmage?
KS: You can’t duplicate having more game-like situations without having umpires out here all the time. The strike zone is more consistent, the calls at the bases are more consistent. You can practice and do drills all you want, but the more game-like you can make your practices, the better your team will be prepared.
Fans, don't forget to mark your calendars for Friday, Nov. 1, and head out to the Black & Gold World Series!