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Baseball outlook appears good

Oct. 26, 2000

By BETHE SPURLOCK

Reporter

After losing six baseball players to the draft, you might have thought Baylor's days of dominating the Big 12 were over.

Think again.

Baylor may have lost two starting pitchers and four position players, but it has gained the talents of 10 new members, including a senior transfer second baseman from the University of Arkansas who was named by Baseball America magazine as one of the nation's top transfers.

Trevor Mote will most likely take over recently drafted Preston Underdown's position at second base.

Mote said he knows there are high expectations for him, but he said, 'It's my final year to play college baseball, and I want to make the most of it.'

Mote brings leadership to an already strong team, and his extensive experience can help set an example for the other players -- new or veterans -- to follow.

He said he finds encouragement from his teammates, who he describes as a friendly, close-knit group.

'I feel very comfortable being here, getting to know the guys,' Mote said.

Sophomore pitcher Jay Lockett is encouraged by the level of play Mote and the other new players have exhibited during their fall practices. Lockett said freshman shortstop Trey Webb brings a steady glove to the field.

While Webb could make it a much tighter competition for the job of starting shortstop, he will have to compete with veterans Mark Saccomanno and Tim Hartshorn for the job.

In the outfield, freshman David Murphy and McLennan Community College transfer Brandon Johnson will battle for starting positions along with proven veterans like Ross Bennett and Jaime Bubela.

At catcher, Paul Richmond, a transfer from Navarro Junior College, will add some relief for veteran catcher Kelly Shoppach.

'Richmond is a power-hitting catcher that should compliment Shoppach well. He hits left-handed and should be a quality back-up,' said Zane Carlson, sophomore pitcher and last season's Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.

Carlson also predicted Richmond's bat could make him a strong designated hitter.

Sophomore pitcher Jared Theodorakos said he knows that the new players must adjust to playing college ball.

'It's a big change from high school,' he said. 'The time commitment is unbelievable.'