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Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications
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BCC Opens Baseball Season on Saturday at Home Under Head Coach Jeff Tam
January 23, 2013 - If there was any lesson Jeff Tam learned during his six seasons as a Major League Baseball relief pitcher it is the game can be demanding, cruel and unpredictable.
Now set to begin his first season as head coach of the Brevard Community College baseball team Tam has been stressing that lesson — and more — to his team.
BCC starts the season with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday at Bruce Bochy Field on the Melbourne Campus against Florida State College Jacksonville. BCC will play 24 more non-conference games before opening its 24-game Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference schedule on Feb. 26 against Indian River State College in Melbourne.
The Titans face a grueling schedule in a grueling game where perfection is desired but certainly not achieved and failure is to be embraced. After all, that's baseball.
To that end Tam preaches and practices the tenants of baseball: preparation, repetition and execution.
"We practice everything every day," Tam said about fundamentals and situations. "Nothing should come as a surprise but in baseball it often does."
Tam expects to carry 11 sophomores on his 23-man roster giving BCC an edge in experience. That being said, he has high hopes and expectations for a number of freshmen including left-handed pitcher Dylan Hawkins, a graduate of Melbourne's Eau Gallie High and catcher and outfielder Austin Leeney, a graduate of Melbourne High.
Sophomore left-hander Danny Dixon of Orlando also is expected to be an innings eater on the mound along with right-handed classmate Ashton Fronsoe of Stuart, FL.
Offensively Tam is expecting big things from sophomore outfielder Matt Harris, a graduate of Melbourne High, sophomore designated hitter David King of Orlando, sophomore shortstop Chris Dennis, a graduate of Rockledge High, sophomore outfielder T.J. Glessner of Clearwater and sophomore infielder Roman Restrepo, a Melbourne High graduate.
Tam, who took over as interim manager following the resignation of 29-year veteran head coach Ernie Rosseau last March, will be assisted by Oscar Restrepo and Jose Soto. So, since it will be a case of players familiar with their coaches and vice versa, success will be expected.
With that in mind Tam will measure success by whether the Titans win the conference title ahead of Miami Dade College, Indian River State College, Palm Beach State and Broward College, or finish high enough to earn a berth in the FCSAA state tournament.
But, given the nature of baseball, the most mercurial of games, anything is possible. With that in mind, Tam takes things full circle back to his tenants: preparation, repetition and execution.
"The players by now know my style, my approach and my expectations," Tam said. "If we can begin the season on a high note and find a consistent level of play, that is not getting too low after a defeat or disappointment — of which there are many in baseball — and not getting too high after victories or success, I believe we will be OK."
The Titans finished 21-23 overall in 2012 and 8-16 in the conference. Under Tam they were 11-10 overall and 7-7 in conference games.