By Tomomi Menjo'13
SANTA CLARA, Calif. –The Broncos baseball team has seven seniors that are playing hard for their last season on the SCU campus. One of the seniors, Tommy Nance, joined the Broncos as a transfer last season and is looking forward to having a great last season. Nance picked up the win in Sata Clara's 12-3 win against San Diego State University on Tuesday night.
Nance (TN) shared with SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) what his experiences been like as a Bronco, his love for SCU and asked the community to come and support the team, as they play hard on the field. Even though he was only a Bronco for two seasons, Nance has a strong connection with the team and sends a great message to the future Broncos.
The Broncos will host University of Northern Colorado Mar. 1-3 at Stephen Schott Stadium.
SCB: You transferred to SCU last year. What has your experiences been like since then?
TN: Since transferring to SCU one word to describe the experience would be happiness. This program has rekindled the love I have for the game of baseball. For a little while there I thought about giving up baseball but with the combination of my Junior College experience and then here at Santa Clara, I would have regretted that decision for the rest of my life.
The things that I have learned while being in this program are life-changing. Learning to find myself, find out who I really am, sitting in long meetings about how to better myself as a human being, you kidding? I would have never guessed that a baseball program would teach me all these things and the best part is that by developing these tools and learning these values about how to go about my business in life make me a better baseball player. As much as I miss my home back in Long Beach, I can't help but feel a huge sense of homeliness up here and for that I am forever thankful.
SCB: What are you excited about for your last year as a Bronco?
TN: This being my last year as a Bronco is a little bittersweet. Being here for a year and a half makes me a bit sad that I wasn't able to enjoy all four years with this group of guys. This team is truly special and we have bonded like brothers over the past 18 months or so and with the new guys this year specifically I feel as though I've known them my whole life. I'm excited for the season to kick off, and I'm excited to end my college career with a bang, winning a Championship.
SCB: Anything you and your team are trying to improve?
TN: I'd say that we are all really working hard on having tons of energy but at the same time being loose and relaxed because that's when we all play our best baseball. Another big thing we are trying to improve on is being able to "take a punch" so to speak. In other words when something bad happens how do we react the next time we face that obstacle? It's really easy to let those situations affect us in a negative way but we are learning to accept the punches being thrown at us and then moving on or "punching back."
Offensively the guys are really working on having a plan at the plate and sticking to it, making it second nature, and being able to execute that plan, not because that is what is asked of us but because that's just how the Broncos play the game. The pitchers are working extremely hard every day to develop their command rather than just control. And what I mean by that is not just being able to throw pitches for strikes in the strike zone but being able to throw any pitch anywhere "on command" essentially. Sure, nothing about Bronco baseball is perfect, nor will it ever be, but we are striving for that perfection every day, never satisfied with the results, hungry for improvement.
TN: We took the time this year to really take the new players under our wing right from the get go and I think that the team chemistry at this point in the year is incredible. There is zero hierarchy within our program; each player is equal regardless of the year in school. Seniors listen to freshmen for advice; juniors listen to sophomores and any other arrangement of the four years you can think of. We are one unit. Off the field we are all friends, you'd think that with the amount of time we spend together on the field at practice that we would get sick of each other, but it turns out that the time out there just isn't enough. This group is special, and I couldn't ask for a better group to enjoy my senior year with.
TN: My personal goals for the season are to throw over 100 innings, more than I had last year and to have an ERA under 3.0. I want to give my team the best chance to win every time I go out on the field, that's my job, and if I don't do that in my mind I am failing my team, which I refuse to do. I would love to end my career here at SCU with a Championship.
SCB: What message would you like to leave to the future Broncos?
TN: Playing in this program is one of a kind and I am not exaggerating when I say that. Being a Bronco is a special thing. The values that this coaching staff teaches you throughout your stay here at SCU will stay with you for the rest of our lives and will make you better men, not just ballplayers. The type of old school atmosphere that is constructed around you instills a great appreciation for why the game is played because it is fun, we all grew up playing the game as kids and if that feeling was lost somewhere along the way like it was for me, here at Santa Clara that feeling is revitalized. Also, don't take for granted any day while you are here, you never know when the game will be taken away from you, and if the game were to be taken away from me tomorrow or in a week, a month, whenever, I am confident to say that the friendships and family I have found here as a Bronco will remedy the sadness felt from not playing. Again, this place here at Santa Clara is one of a kind, and it will forever be etched into my mind, let it all in, and it will change your life.
TN: To the SCU community, please come support us this season! You have no idea how much it means to have huge crowds at all the games. Last year opening day was absolutely awesome and I'd love to see crowds like that every game. Personally, the large crowd atmosphere fuels me when I am on the field and I know it is the same for the majority of the other guys on the team. I would just love to see an overwhelming amount of community and student support, we work hard all year long and want to share that with all of you! I want going to Santa Clara baseball games to be the "thing to do" on the weekends, bring your kids, friends, family, we will show you what playing baseball is all about, and I guarantee you will have a blast!