After a historic 2021 season for Nevada baseball, which included a Mountain West title and the school's first NCAA Regional berth since 2000, the team is gearing up to the start of the 2022 season, which begins in February. Head coach T.J. Bruce joined NSN Daily to preview the upcoming season and where the team looks to build off last year.
"I think when you look at the roster as we do every day, you return seven of your nine position players," Bruce said. "Tyler Cochran comes out of the bullpen. (Kade) Morris is a guy that's in the back end. It's going to be up to these guys. This is a player-led program, and it's always going to be that way. We've got great leadership. We've got a few All-Americans back and a lot of these guys forget that this older class has won two Mountain West Conference championships. I think that says a lot as we keep pushing forward to our end goal and what we really want."
Nevada went 0-2 at the Stanford Regional last year, losing to UC Irvine and North Dakota State, but Bruce believes the experience can be used as a step forward for the program.
"Just to get there is a huge step forward," Bruce said. "I didn't think our guys enjoyed it as much as they should have. I try to stress to these guys to enjoy this part of it because it doesn't happen all the time. Now I think we're more prepared. We don't just want to get there. I think now is we don't just want to get to the postseason anymore. We want to get there, win some games and see what this program can do. I think as coaches, you always build programs for certain years."
One of the main preseason events for Nevada baseball every season is the annual Bobby Dolan Baseball Dinner at the Silver Legacy. This year will be the 37th annual event and feature keynote speaker George Brett, a Pro Baseball Hall of Famer.
"I think it's such an incredible event," Bruce said. "I've said that every year, and I know I repeat myself every year, at least on that day. And I think to have the speakers that we do get and to have the intimacy with them, it's a little different. When you see all these guys on different platforms and you can't get up close and personal with him. We've been super fortunate with all of our speakers. To get a person of his stature playing 20 years in the big leagues, a Hall of Famer, we are so fortunate we have that."
Tickets to the Bobby Dolan Dinner on Jan. 20 can be purchased here.