The Lawrence University baseball team has been hard at work for over a month now and is looking forward to facing other opponents when the team heads to Florida over spring break. The team has had early morning practices in order to prepare for the season, and the Vikings have made quite a bit of progress in that time. Junior captain Rob Rashid commented, “Once we got used to the early morning practices, we really started making some strides. We are excited to finally get outside and show off all of our hard work.” The team is quite young, but senior captain Wes Otte doesn’t think age will be a problem: “We have a lot of freshmen, but once you get on the field it doesn’t matter how old you are, it just matters how you play.” With 18 of the team’s 25 players in their first year at Lawrence, Otte may be understating the team’s youth. There are just five seniors and two juniors to provide leadership for the young squad. Otte returns as the lone all-conference selection from last year’s team, which finished with a 12-20 record. Otte hit .426 in league play last year without committing a single error in the field. The Vikings’ schedule starts off with eight games in six days at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. Lawrence’s opening game is March 21 against UW-Stout. Baseball fan Colin Vize is extremely optimistic about the team for this upcoming year, predicting a berth in the Midwest Conference tournament for the Vikings. Said Vize, “They have great leaders to take all of those freshmen under their wing. With [Andrew] Wilt on the mound, and “Rash” [Rashid] and Wes in the outfield, I don’t see how teams are going to score against us.