“When they come here to play they don’t have their family; so that’s why we try to have the guys over for dinner, tailgate together during football season and spend quality time as a team,” Kirby said.
The players and coaching staff appeared to be friendly and tuned in with one another during Tuesday’s practice. Feedback from the players also reflects that Kirby’s efforts in creating a healthy culture are successful.
Right-handed pitcher Cameron Blazek, explains how the team operates as a unit. “It’s definitely the first team I’ve been a part of where it doesn’t feel like there are separate little cliques. We are all one team that gets along,” Blazek said.
Last season, the Aggies finished 20-34 overall and 1-2 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament after falling to the Seattle University RedHawks.
“Last year we needed better players and that’s what we got,” Kirby said. “We have a lot more depth all the way around, especially in pitching and defense.”
It has been a painful offseason for returning infielder, Austin Duffy, as he recovers from a shoulder surgery he had seven months ago. Duffy started in 36 games last season and served as a pivotal player for the Aggies.
“My physical therapy program is scheduled to end this week, so my goal is to get healthy and get back on the field as soon as possible,” Duffy said.
The Aggies have a home-loaded season schedule, making it easy for fans to come out and support the team. NMSU will host a three-game series against the University of Illinois Chicago at Presley Askew Field Feb. 18-20. The scheduled start time for game one is set for 3 p.m. this afternoon.
“Come out and support Los Aggies — my boys are worth it,” Kirby said
If fans can’t make it to the field, they also have the option of listening on 91.5 FM KRUX, tuning in to receive live stats or streaming the games on WAC’s digital network. Fans are also encouraged to follow Aggie baseball on social media @NMStatebaseball.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the NMSU Aggie baseball team is “stepping into its 15th season.” This year marks the 71st season of NMSU baseball and 61st season of competition at the D1 level. NMSU first began playing baseball in 1952.