Trevor Williams, Alex Blackford and Max Rossiter address the media - ASU Media Department
Sometimes when a team encounters adversity, they crumble. Other times, they realize that they now must be more impenetrable than ever.
When a team has a NCAA-high 10 players taken in the MLB draft and then brings in 16 freshmen, it's probably fair to expect a bit of an adjustment period in the locker room.
Then again, when you spent last season's College World Series watching from your couch due to sanctions, you probably aren't too eager to spend valuable time meshing as a unit.
"It is a new chapter for ASU baseball," said junior pitcher Trevor Williams. "Now that last year is in the past we can finally move on and be the 2013 Sun Devils baseball team that starts a new life for Arizona State baseball."
Luckily for the Sun Devils, cohesiveness seems to be in abundance in 2013.
"A big strength for us is team chemistry," said senior catcher Max Rossiter. "Our team chemistry is strong on the field, in the clubhouse and outside it."
But how can that be with so many new kids on the block you might ask? Well, it's easier than you might expect when you're anchored by veterans who are far more interested in winning than in hazing.
"These older guys, since day one, really took these young kids under their wings," said manager Tim Esmay. "They made them feel like they're part of the program...that is sometimes not an easy thing to do."
Well coach, that's because this team realizes that if they're to quell that piercing postseason hunger that resides in their bellies, they'll have to utilize every inch of their roster.
"When it comes down to it, we're going to need everyone to win a national championship," Rossiter said.
Wise words from a motivated man. And that has to be music to Esmay's ears from everything he's seen in his 13 years wearing maroon and gold.
"The strength of this team is that we are a team," Esmay said. "...in my experience here at ASU, when we had really good years, it's because we had a really good team."
Well that certainly sounds intriguing. But coach, does having a preseason All-American Friday starter, a top-3 ranked recruiting class and an unprecedented thirst for Omaha bring back any memories in particular?
"I hope they remind me of the 1981 team," Esmay said.
So do we, coach. So do we.
The Arizona State baseball team gets their season started on Feb. 15 when they play host to Bethune-Cookman University. If you're extra eager to see the Devils back on the diamond, make sure you make it out to the Alumni Game at 12 p.m. on Feb. 9.