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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Not a big hoo-rah guy’

Photo by Tanner Garza
Outfielder Nick Banks was named preseason second-team All-SEC.
 
Photo by Tanner Garza Outfielder Nick Banks was named preseason second-team All-SEC.  

It’s springtime in College Station. The smell of fresh-cut grass, peanuts and hot dogs fill the air. The chalk is down, the dirt is ready and some Olsen Magic is ready to dazzle visiting teams.
Baseball season is back in Aggieland, and leading the charge into the 2015 campaign is the preseason second-team All-SEC outfielder Nick Banks.
Banks is set to be a key piece of the puzzle for A&M this spring. A sophomore from Tomball, Texas, Banks comes back for his second year after notching a .327 batting average with 26 RBI and two home runs last year. While A&M’s final, eliminating loss in last year’s Houston regional came from longtime foe Texas, Banks and the team are ready to get back to work this spring.
“We were disappointed losing in the regional to Texas,” Banks said. “Being our rival, losing to them in a big game to go to the Super Regionals was really disappointing, but I think we came back stronger. Everyone is motivated to get back, hopefully [we will] host a Regional and a Super Regional so we can get back to our one goal — winning in Omaha.”
The team comes into the season ranked No. 17 nationally. As with any high preseason ranking, there are high expectations for this team. Talk of rankings, records and predictions can weigh on the mind of young players such as Banks. However, Banks said he and the team do not fall into the trap — this time around, it’s business as usual.
“We’ve prepared all fall and spring leading up to these upcoming games,” Banks said. “Our teammates keep each other level-headed, and do not let each other get too out there and forget what our goal is for the season. You can’t think ahead because when you think ahead in a game, that is when you get beat.”
The team looked for a leader to stay on task and focused on its ultimate goal of a win in Omaha. They eventually found that leader in Banks due to his “lead by example” attitude.
“He’s not a big vocal guy,” said outfielder Logan Nottebrok. “He steps into the role of leading by example. He is not a big ‘hoo-rah’ guy, but whenever you are out of line, he’ll put you in line when he needs to.”
Head coach Rob Childress has taken notice as well.
“I think he is one of the many leaders on this team,” Childress said. “He has a great combination of strength and speed and plays with a chip on his shoulder. His motor is running full speed all the time. He is an honor to coach.”
In 2014, Banks stole seven bases, while adding 10 doubles and two triples. Childress said Banks’ rare combination of strength and speed is possibly the best facet of his game.
Last summer, Banks was selected to play for Team USA’s collegiate baseball team. It was a chance for him to play with some of the most talented players in the country, an experience that Banks said helped him grow both as a player and as a person.
“To get invited to that [national roster] was a blessing,” Banks said. “To be around players that they see as the best players in the country and hand-selected coaches that are the best in the country, it really makes you mature a lot as a player and person. Yes, I think it did mature me as a baseball player, but I think it matured me more as a man.”
Banks and the team will shoulder their expectations when the lights shine down in Olsen Field on Friday night. Texas A&M will begin the long journey to Omaha at 6:30 p.m. against the Holy Cross Crusaders.

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