Always a Bandit – Q&A with Sam Spurney
May 25, 2010
Outfielder Sam Spurney will be entering his fourth season with the Manitowoc Bandits, but is currently finishing out his senior collegiate season at UW-Stevens Point.
Outfielder Sam Spurney will be entering his fourth season with the Manitowoc Bandits, but is currently finishing out his senior collegiate season at UW-Stevens Point. He has posted a .373 AVG and a impressive .443 OBP this season so far for the Pointers and is looking forward to the opportunity to lead the Bandits back to the top of the NEWBL again this season. The Manitowoc Bandits Online Content Intern Shawn Wagner had the opportunity to interview Sam on his thoughts about his college season and the upcoming Bandits season.
Q: Is there any skill you worked to improve upon this past off-season, or while you have been playing college baseball?
A: During my college career, I’ve always tried to improve my defense. Whether it be improving arm strength or taking better routes to balls in the outfield, there is always room for improvement. Although not necessarily a skill, throwing to the correct base and hitting the cutoff man are things every outfielder needs to be able to do.
Q: How do you feel your season is going so far? What positions have you been playing?
A: Our season has been full of ups and downs this year. Although we are 27-13 and ranked 25th in the nation, we have really high expectations for our program. I’ve played left field, right field, and have been the designated hitter this season. I feel like I hit my stride at the plate against UW-Whitewater during the middle of the season, and haven’t looked back since.
Q: Is there a great moment from the season so far that you would like to share?
A: We played Lawrence University in Appleton a few weeks ago, and I was able to get two hits in the game, one being a homerun with my grandpa in attendance. It was the first time he saw me play as a Pointer in person, so to do it on a day when one of my biggest supporters is in attendance is something really special.
Q: What do you expect from the Bandits as a team this season?
A: I feel great about the upcoming season. We have a great core group of guys, and a lot of talented ball players. It’s always great to put on the Bandit uniform for the summer. We always expect to be in the race for the NEWBL, and be competitive in the Wisconsin State League.
Q: Is there a team statistic from last year that you would like to see improved?
A: Of course, the wins category is the most important statistic – but it would be great for us to continue to hit well with runners in scoring position. Getting on base, and then being able to drive those runners in is so important. Clutch hitting doesn’t appear on the score sheet, but it is imperative in order to be a successful ball club. Losing Max Stepan, TC Lee, and Doug Bloom will mean new guys have to step up and get big hits for us.
Q: What is your personal goal for this season – batting and defensively?
A: I always want to hit over .300 for the season, with double digit doubles and over 5 homeruns. Although individual statistics are important, hitting with runners in scoring position and making productive outs when necessary is very important. Defensively I would like to make zero errors in the outfield and be able to throw runners out when the chance presents itself.
Q: What games are you looking forward to playing in most this season?
A: Playing against the Sheboygan A’s is always a fun time. Large crowds always come out to the ball park to see us compete, which makes for a great atmosphere. When we play in Sheboygan, the crowd heckles us and they have a house band which always makes things interesting. I also have a few Pointer teammates that play for the A’s, so it’s always fun to beat them and hold bragging rights for the next year.
Q: Any new players you are excited to play with this year?
A: It’s always fun to play with new players from colleges throughout the country. I’m always excited to play with guys I haven’t played with before. It’s always great to see what they bring to the table to help our team win. I had a blast playing with Doug, TC, and Max from Willamette University in Oregon last year, and I’m excited to see how the new guys will be this year.
Q: What is rewarding for you about the Bandits organization, and makes you want to keep coming back each year?
A: The Bandits organization has been great to me since I played after my Legion career ended my senior year of high school. The fact that the organization is first class and allows us to play over 50 games a summer is awesome. The people I have met and played with over the past 5 years have been outstanding. Whether I play for one more year or ten more years, I will always be a Bandit. The summers I spent playing baseball in Manitowoc are times I will never forget.
Q: Do you have any plans that include baseball after you graduate from college?
A: I’m not exactly sure what the future holds for me after graduation. I have one semester left at UWSP. I may continue to play for the Bandits every summer if I choose to live near Manitowoc. Either way, I plan to get into the business of coaching baseball, hopefully passing on some of the knowledge I have gained throughout the years on to younger players.
To learn more about Sam, visit http://manitowocbandits.com/player/sam-spurney
by Shawn Wagner – Manitowoc Bandits Online Content Intern
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