UCCS baseball player looks forward to leadership, competing with team

January 31, 2017

Taylor Watters

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     While playing for Santa Rosa Junior College last season, junior right fi elder Zach Hall hit a game-tying single in the championship final against Golden West College.

     Hall sparked the momentum his team needed, and they became the California Community College Athletic Association’s State Champions.

     Once UCCS head coach Dave Hajek heard about Hall’s efforts in the classroom and performance on the f eld, he recruited him.

     Hall’s role on the team is a product of the mentality he practices with and the positive reinforcement he provides.

     “I feel like I have always taken a leadership role since little league, and I have the personality that when I am not a leader, I feel like I have to fulfill that job role somehow,” said Hall.

     During his time in California, Hall had 173 plate appearances with a .280 batting average, displaying discipline at the plate by walking 14 times, which increased his on-base percentage to .367.

     Through 40 hits and six doubles, he batted in 15 runs and crossed the plate another 15 times, leaving his total offensive run production at 30 runs.

     In his time as a Mountain Lion, Hall’s ability has molded him into the type of player that freshman can look up too, said Hajek.

     “(Hall) has a great arm; he can run. I really think he is going to be a solid player in the RMAC this year. (He is) definitely our team leader and is a solid individual as a leader on the field and in the classroom,” said Hajek.

     As the team shifted their mentality to competing, Hall and the other transfer athletes have been able to guide the younger players.

     Between good leadership, not having permanent practice facilities and starting a new program, the team has found a brotherly bond.

     “Winning state was awesome. That was the most tightly knit team I have been on and the second most is the (team) here at UCCS. We have a lot of chemistry going on, and our ability to get through adversity is making us better, ” said Hall.

     Hajek spent 11 years as a hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies organization, which was appealing to Hall.

     “The prospect of being a part of a new program with a solid coaching staff led by Hajek sold me,” he said.

     “I wanted to get out of the big-city California bubble. Colorado Springs has a small-town vibe. I grew up in the Sacramento area; it is nice coming out here and living with a brand new set of people.”

     The team will play their first game against Cal Poly Pomona on Feb. 3 in Pomona, Calif. Hall encourages students to support the team this season.

     The first pre-season home series will be played against Nebraska-Kearney on Spurgeon Field in Memorial Park on Feb. 17 at 3 p.m.

     The first League series will be played against Colorado Mesa starting March 10 at 3 p.m.

     “It will be huge having the students behind us. We know the staff and athletic department is excited, so seeing the student body at games would be great.”