NORFOLK, Va. - With eight starters back from a team that won more than 30 games (32) for just the second time since 2007, the Old Dominion baseball squad started its 2017 season Friday with an afternoon practice at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.
"We're real excited to get out here," said senior catcher Kurt Sinnen. "The energy is the clubhouse is great."
The Monarchs, picked fourth in the Conference USA preseason poll, went 15-and-15 during C-USA play a year ago. Among those returning are staff ace Sam Sinnen, catcher Kurt Sinnen, shortstop Zach Rutherford and 3B/OF Nick Walker.
Since the Monarchs enjoyed back-to-back 35+ win seasons in 2006 and 2007, only Chris Finwood's 2014 squad - one that advanced to the NCAA tournament - won more games than last year's team that went 32-and-24.
"I like our leadership," said Finwood. "We have several older guys who have a played a lot of baseball here."
"We're going to be right in the mix," said outfielder Nick Walker. "Today is day one - keep pedaling that bike and we'll see where we are at the end of the year."
ODU opens its season Friday February 17th at home vs. LIU-Brooklyn. The Monarchs play 21 of their first 22 games at home and won't leave the Commonwealth until March 24th.