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Nine Innings with
By Phil Stanton
outfielder Bret Atwood is a three-year letterman and two-year
starter for Southland favorite Texas State. A native of Katy,
Texas, Atwood batted .268 as a freshman in 35 games with 17
starts. He started 53 of 55 games in centerfield as a sophomore,
hitting .368 with 86 hits, 59 runs, 30 RBI and 14 steals.
A season ago, Atwood batted .346 in 60 starts
with 88 hits, 13 doubles, 46 runs, 36 RBI and 12 steals. Atwood
was voted Third Team All-Southland.
The Bobcats were 41-17 in 2009, winning the
regular-season title and earning an at-large bid to the NCAA
Tournament. Texas State won the regular-season crown again in
2010, but lost to eighth-seed Nichols in the opening round. The
Bobcats won four straight to reach the championship game, but
lost to seventh-seeded Lamar to finish the year at 38-22.
Atwood, a preseason All-Southland selection for
the third consecutive year, recently took time to answer our
First Inning - What was the biggest adjustment
you had to make from high school to college baseball?
The biggest adjustment was the speed of the game, and baseball
in college is more of a job because of how much time you put
into it and representing a Division I university.
Second Inning - What factors helped you go from a part-time
player as a freshman to the starting centerfielder as a
The centerfielder before me got hurt and during the fall, I
worked hard to prove to the coaches that I could be a full-time
player in center.
Inning - How important is your defense in making you a
Playing defense is a big part of my
game. I strive to be one of the top defensive players, and I
also enjoy defense as much as offense so that helps, too.
Fourth Inning - How has the program progressed in your time
at Texas State?
The program has progressed rapidly while I have been here.
We got a new stadium while I was here, and now our stadium is
one of the best in the nation. The support of our program has
progressed as well.
Fifth Inning - Conference games are tough enough. How do you
get ready for midweek dates with national powers like Arkansas,
Baylor, Rice, Texas, TCU and Texas A&M?
Our conference is a fight every weekend and every Monday we are
tired from the weekend before, but it's not hard to get ready
for a game against some of the best teams in the nation. We want
to one day be the team that people talk about on their schedules
and to do that we have to beat these teams.
Sixth Inning - Did the fact that the Texas Rangers reached
the World Series this past fall help baseball throughout the
state of Texas?
A lot of people around San Marcos are from the Dallas area so
that was big here around that time. I have noticed more students
asking when the baseball season starts this year so I would say
that it has helped out around the state of Texas.
Seventh Inning - How frustrating was it to lose in the first
round of the Southland Tournament, then win four straight before
falling to Lamar in the championship game? Is that motivation
for the 2011 season?
It wasn't as frustrating as people would think. After the
first loss, we knew we had a good enough team to win five
straight games, but we came up a little short to a good Lamar
Inning - Texas State is the favorite to win the conference this
year. Do you prefer being the hunted or the hunter?
The hunted because we want to be a top team in the nation
and to do that we have to win conference. We know that like the
last two years, Southland Conference baseball is very good top
to bottom, and we have to be ready to play everyday or anybody
could beat us.
Ninth Inning - What should we expect from the Bobcats this
With what happened last year and everything, we expect to be
back in a regional and to go farther than we have ever gone
(photos courtesy of Texas State
Media Relations Office)