Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The Enid Plainsmen baseball team isn’t back to .500 yet, but given last season’s finish, a 5-6 start to 2014 puts Enid well ahead of its forgettable pace from a year ago.
And apparently not just in the record book.
“(We’re) way ahead,” said senior shortstop and reliever Cole Floyd. “I can’t even explain how much more ahead we are.”
Enid, now more than halfway to last season’s win total after a 9-25 finish, will enter today’s 5 p.m. rivalry tilt with visiting Stillwater (9-1) on its first win streak since April of 2013 and seemingly an improved group despite playing nearly twice as many underclassmen (5) as seniors (3) in its regular lineup. What the group lacks in experience, it apparently makes up for in chemistry, a word regularly used in explaining what Floyd couldn’t quite put his finger on.
“We just have so much more chemistry on this team,” said fellow senior Christian Voitik. “I think we’ve learned to work together for an entire game. Last year, we had ups and downs, where we played really well, but others when we played really badly. We’re more consistent when it comes to all aspects of the game.”
Added coach Bill Mayberry: “This team has a pretty nice chemistry to it right now. It’s kind of coming of age on its own.”
Building that bond started months before the season, when Enid athletes spent their mornings in weight training sessions, including the Plainsmen’s baseball program despite being a full semester and then some from its season opener. Voitik often is the earliest arrival, strolling in most mornings around 5 a.m. Floyd follows an hour later, and the rest of the roster has followed suit.
“I’ve enjoyed it,” Voitik said. “We’ve always had that leadership aspect to our personalities, but it wasn’t our place in past years. This year, we’ve tried our best to take the role and just lead by example. I feel like him (Floyd) and I, we’re doing really well. There’s a lot of leaders on this team. It’s not just the seniors.”
“We all just decided that we did not wanna do last year again,” Floyd said. “We all got a little better during fall, worked out a little harder … we decided we’re not gonna do (9-25) this year.”