Lander's Erik Lunde, left, and Patrick Grady could be key if the Bearcats make a strong run this season. (Index-Journal | file)
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There’s plenty about the 2013 season Lander University baseball coach Kermit Smith would like to replicate in 2014, like the way the Bearcats started the year 29-6 and were tied for the nation’s No. 1 ranking at one point.
Of course, there’s still plenty he would like to improve on, as well. Like the ending.
Last year’s Bearcats went 6-10 in their final 16 games after the best start in school history. The late-season slump ended with Lander being knocked out of the Peach Belt Conference tournament — a tournament it hosted — on its third day and missing out on what had earlier seemed like an almost-assured spot in the NCAA Tournament.
So, while there are plenty of positives from last season from which to draw, Smith isn’t wasting any time dwelling on the disappointment of last season. He’s too focused on how to make sure it doesn’t happen this year.
“I don’t know that I ever get to a feeling of confident or unconfident,” Smith said, chuckling. “I guess my frame of mind right now is just preparation. It’s just making sure we’re staying focused to come out and prepare every day. … We’re just trying to make sure our guys are preparing and making sure we’re not overdoing it, not under-doing it, and trying to stay focused down the stretch.”
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