Buff baseball confident about new season with balanced roster


Nick Alvarado

Jimmy Cubillos is one of 11 seniors on the team that will bring experience from a 36-18 team that qualified for regionals a season ago.

Austin Heinen, Former Associate Editor

The back-to-back Lone Star Conference Tournament Champions are back in action. Action for West Texas A&M began away from the comforts of home, in Pueblo, Colorado this past weekend.

The Buffs came back with a solid 2-1 record after a split with Colorado State-Pueblo and a victory over Adams State. Now, WT prepares for their first series of home games against New Mexico Highlands. Head coach Matt Vanderburg looks to continue the trend of competing for championships.

“I think it’s just the culture of stuff here,” Vanderburg said. “We have a culture here and we’ve been really good these past few years. Our expectations never change. We expect to win championships.”

Winning championships has partially come from the Buff’s tradition of having solid pitching depth. That tradition could be carried on this year with junior right-handed pitcher Dominic Yearego. Being awarded first team all-region, Yearego says he has done the work and has what it takes to continue WT’s success at pitching.

“This is my fourth year here,” Yearego said. “Having Coach Hall with me and a couple of the older guys, helped build a tough mentality, a competitive mentality. It’s something I look to pass onto the other guys. Just the way to compete and have a bulldog mentality.”

In each of WT’s game, the Buffaloes scored at least five runs. Showing that the bats should play a great factor to this year’s success as well. Senior right fielder Nick Canas led the team in batting with 69 hits and finished with a .354 batting average in the previous season. Canas says that the balance of experience and young guys this team possesses has him and the team excited.

“I’m excited,” Canas said. “We got a great group of guys returning as well as a great signing class. I think we can do some big things. We’ve always been a pitching strong team, but also offensively, we’ve been working in practice on doing a lot of different things. ”

That balance Canas speaks  is part of the story. Every year the Buffs have seemed to be question on how they will replace certain players. Like other great programs, WT baseball has found ways to avoid rebuilding by just reloading. Coach Vanderburg says the pieces have just always been in place.

“I think the guys are in place and the work ethic is in place,” said Vanderburg. “Coach Hall does a great job with the pitching staff, he always has. You have to have the talent. There’s going to be guys we had last year, that step up and pitch more this year. Obviously, we also recruited. We’ve signed some really good guys. Some guys that I feel could be the best pitchers in the country.”

The Buffaloes will have their home opener this weekend with their first game on Friday at 5pm against New Mexico Highlands. Then will play a doubleheader with the Cowboys with game two on Saturday at 1 p.m. and game three at approximately 3:30 p.m.