Sophomore and right-fielder Chase Wells was awarded Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Hitter of the Week for the week for his outstanding play (batting .615) in the Redhawks’ road series sweep against Chicago State. He hit his first home run of the season, chalking up three RBIs, with no walks or strikeouts in his 13 times at bats. It was the first time this season Wells had consecutive games with multiple hits.
JL: What’s it like to be getting into the groove with season well underway, and to be recognized by the WAC?
CW: It feels pretty nice. It’s nice to know that our hard work is paying off.
JL: After hitting your first home run of the season last week, how does it feel to be that offensive player for your team?
CW: It feels pretty good especially since how good our offense is. I’m not the leading guy in [batting] average, in home runs, there’s I think six guys above me, so to be that guy for that [Chicago] series is exciting.
JL: What are some of your other roles on the team besides hitting?
CW: Playing defense is a huge role for me. We already have the bats, it’s just the defensive part [that is lacking]. So, if I can just add that more to our already crazy good lineup, it’s just a good addition.
JL: You’re specialized as a utility player. Do you play any other positions besides right fielder, the position you played last week?
CW: I’m predominately a right-fielder, but I play pretty much anywhere in the outfield. I just got thrown into the right [field].
JL: Last season, men’s baseball finished 20-35-1. What has the team and coaching staff been focusing on to improve game play?
CW: A huge aspect we’ve focused on is just to play hard, to not care what the outcome is like. Just as long as you gave 110 percent, no one is going to care about the win or loss.
JL: Well, it seems to be working, the team is 16-9 right now. After your strong play in Chicago last week and in general, have you felt a different energy with the team this year?
CW: The energy has been a lot different this year, especially since we don’t have eleven guys on the disabled list. So now that everyone is healthy, you just get that same mojoe and everybody is on the same page.
JL: What has been something you’ve been focusing on to improve on in the past year?
CW: For me, getting stronger is a huge one because I never really lifted in high school. Baseball wise, I’m trying to hit the ball more to the left field than try to pull it.
JL: What has the coaching staff been like in your development as a player?
CW: If you have any questions, they always know the answer. They know how to approach you, they’re very reasonable, very communicative when it comes to that stuff. I love ’em to death.
JL: What’s your favorite Redhawk memory thus far?
CW: The Notre Dame win is up there. I’m going to have to say my favorite memory is my freshman year, before baseball season even started, we got to play this soccer game out on SU Park. We got to be in these little bubbles, the giant inflatable balls, and we just got to lay out each other playing soccer. That was a lot of fun.
JL: Heading into this weekend’s games against Northern Colorado, what can we expect from the team? What are your predictions for how the match up will go?
CW: First, my prediction is I think it will be a high-scoring game because we are all a left-handed lineup and Northern Colorado has all right-handers in their pitching staff. So, I expect a lot of runs being scored. Also, I think Tarik [Skubal], who is going to throw on Friday, I think he is going to throw a one-run ballgame.
JL: How do you continue this energy, from being a WAC award recipient and batting really well, in the future? How do you focus?
CW: I honestly try not to think about how many hits I get each game. It’s about whether I hit a ball hard, or how many pitches I can see each at bat. It’s just putting up good at bats.
JL: What are some big games or teams to beat this season?
CW: GCU [Grand Canyon University] is a team to beat, and it’s always nice to beat the Cougars [Washington State] and beat UW again. However, the huge win for us was against Notre Dame, that was a big one for us.
Jacqueline may be reached at