On the road taming the panthers


Trojans Brett Berghammer (#3) bats at the March 5 game against Gavilan College. Photo credit: William Nacouzi

Following an April 21 victory against the Hartnell Panthers in Salinas, the Trojans baseball team is happy to be back at home at Skyline.

According to Trojans Head Coach Dino Nomicos, away games present unique challenges that differ from playing at home.

“For yesterday, we were at Salinas, so it’s two hours drive, two hours before game time three hours for the game, two and a half hours to drive home, so it makes for a very long day for the kids, myself, my coaches,” Nomicos said. “And we do that a lot. Four, five, six times a year. “

In addition, he noted that the team is spoiled by the facilities at home and that the rough turf on other campuses can pose a challenge.

“We love playing at home,” Nomicos said. “I’d rather play all my games at home to be honest with you. Our surface is so good and when we go to other facilities the surface is horrible.”

According to Nomicos, the key at away games is to maintain routine and keep the players focused amid strenuous travel.

“We don’t do anything different,” Nomicos said. “The biggest thing is that we try to keep the kids’ attention span. They’re not used to such a long day coming from high school. So it is a job.”

The team travels as far south as San Diego (where they fly) and as far north as Sacramento.

Assistant Baseball Coach Anthony Brunicardi agreed that playing at home is better, but sees some advantages to away games on his part.

“We try to keep the routine the same,” Brunicardi said. “There is a positive for me out on the road: We don’t have to worry about getting anything ready for the game. We just have to show up and everything’s kind of taken care of. But everyone likes playing at home better.”

Trojans’ pitcher Alex Jenkins was still recovering from the trip and acknowledged that travel can be rough on the players.

“There’s not as much batting practice,” Jenkins said. “Traveling there and back can take a toll, both mentally and physically.”

Despite the challenges the players face when travelling, Nomicos said that it ultimately benefits the team.

“Everything we try to do is kind of teach them what it’s going to be like at the next level, the good and the bad,” Nomicos said.