Jan. 24, 2014
By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Today's the day the Hawkeyes have been waiting for.
First-year head coach Rick Heller and the University of Iowa baseball team went through their first full-squad practice of the 2014 season Friday inside the Indoor Practice Facility.
"It has been a long time coming," said junior shortstop Jake Yacinich. "It's nice to get the whole team back, get the coaches here with us and get going on the season."
Junior Eric Toole says Jan. 24 is a date the team has been anticipating since fall ball.
"Ever since the first day of practice this fall, everyone has been ready to go," said Toole. "Everyone has liked coach Heller's new ways and the stuff the new coaching staff has brought in. We're ready to get this season underway."
Three weeks from today, Iowa opens the season in Clarksville, Tenn., against Austin Peay. The Hawkeyes know the importance of using each day of practice to its fullest.
"Any time you get a chance to come (to practice) and get better, you have to take advantage of it," said Yacinich. "We need to make the most of our opportunities, get better every day and things will take off from there."
"We have to make the most of the time we have," said Toole. "We have to get what we need to accomplished in the time we have because the season is right around the corner."
With the experience littering the Iowa roster -- eight starters, eight pitchers and 20 letterwinners -- Yacinich likes the potential of the 2014 Hawkeyes.
"We have a lot of experience returning and new guys that can help us out," he said. "If we can keep getting better every day and focus on the process, we can go a long ways."