Comeback: Xavier University baseball returns on Tuesday, the school’s first team since 1960 | Sports
Blair Frederick hasn’t played a baseball game in three years.
His team hasn’t played in 61 years.
So New Orleans-born Frederick knows how special it will be when he hits the hill at Wesley Barrow Stadium at 4 p.m. on Tuesday
He’ll make a bit of history if he throws the first place someone has thrown in a Xavier University uniform since 1960.
After more than a half-century hiatus, Xavier’s baseball revival begins when the gold rush welcomes Bryant and Stratton in a double header for the season opener.
“Not many people can say they have thrown first place on a program in over 60 years,” said Fredrick. “Only this honor after everything I’ve been through comes full circle. It really means a lot.”
Frederick is a key piece in the puzzle at Xavier that announced in 2019 that it would bring baseball back. It all comes into play on Tuesday.
“We don’t want any of these guys to take that for granted,” said Xavier coach Adrian Holloway. “We talk about history every day. We remind them of the privilege and honor they are about to enter and that they are blessed to be a part of it. I think the guys get it and they want to come in and give.” a good show for the fans. “
Holloway spent six seasons at Selma University in his hometown of Alabama before joining Xavier in January 2020. He had never visited New Orleans before but said the decision to coach the Upstart program was a no-brainer.
“There wasn’t even a second thought,” said Holloway. “It had its challenges, but it’s not my first rodeo rebuilding a program.”
Hollaway set a 117-59 record at Selma and took the school to three trips to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s World Series. Now he wants to continue this success with Xavier. His roster includes a mix of JUCO transfers, Division I transfers and native talent.
Friedrich is a mixture of all three. Brother Martin’s graduate began his career at LSU, where he got off the bullpen and played in five games in 2017. After a season in Baton Rouge, he moved to San Jacinto College in Texas.
“LSU was a very humbling experience as they were one of the best players on Brother Martin and the biggest fish in a small pond. Then they went to LSU where everyone is a big fish,” said Frederick. “Although it didn’t work for me, it works for a lot of people and I’ve learned a lot. In every place I’ve been, I’ve learned something and taken it further, and it has helped me develop into the player, who I am. ” today.”
Frederick sustained a shoulder injury in San Jacinto. He returned home to rehabilitate it. As soon as he got well, he suffered an elbow injury that required surgery from Tommy John in the summer of 2019.
“It was busy,” said Frederick.
He took a break from baseball and graduated from the UN with a degree in business administration in December. Now he’s a student with Xavier, where he’s the cornerstone of the team.
“A guy like that is great for the program,” said Holloway. “Great players want to play with other great players. People like that attract other great players and it helps make your program special. He’s a high character guy, and things like that can be contagious. They want guys like that in yours Program Who can show a level of maturity and have a certain level of accountability. Such a high level of talent makes it easier for you to work as a trainer. “
Holloway has a lot more talent to work with. He recruited from the JUCO ranks in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi to land some veteran players.
“My plan is to win immediately and not create a program,” said Holloway. “I want to win right now. I just had to sell the vision and sell our mission to win, grow and graduate. We want to develop the entire young man, not just the baseball player. Easily selling is the academic prestige of Xavier and the beautiful city of New Orleans. These companies are self-selling, so all I had to do was try to close the deal and share the vision of what I have for this baseball program. “
And then there were those whom he didn’t have to sell. Dillon’s cousin, a freshman at first baseman, would have visited Xavier even if there wasn’t a baseball team. All of his family members visited Xavier so it was always his choice. Having a baseball team just makes it a lot better, especially with “a player-coach” like Holloway.
“He gives us a great sense of comfort and it’s just a whole new program,” said Cousin. “We’re excited because we’re the first group to represent this sport that hasn’t existed for so long. So we’re ready to rock and roll.”
Nobody will be more eager than the starter who last played in a real game in 2018.
Frederick rattled off all the things that will make Tuesday special.
“Hometown. Pitching for the first time in three years. I’ve gone through every injury in the book. First year program. There are going to be a lot of things closing in on me.”
And for Xavier, it comes full circle.
Baseball is back.
“I think the boys are going to be itchy,” said Holloway. “There’ll be a lot of energy in here. I just itches to leave myself. I need to calm down too. It’s going to be a great day for Xavier University and a great day for the New Orleans baseball community. A lot of people are excited to be To see Xavier Baseball come back. “
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