Royals baseball optimistic despite bad field conditions

KNOXVILLE — In spite of unusable conditions on Morgan Field due to recent rain, the Royals Baseball Team made the most of warm weather Wednesday afternoon, taking batting practice outdoors.

As the season approaches, players show confidence in the quality of practice and have big expectations for this year’s team.

“This is the most confident I’ve ever been in our team going into a season,” said senior Evan Duriga. “We have a lot of talent, we have a lot of depth this year and we have a lot of winnable games on our schedule.”

That depth includes veterans like Duriga, who has pitched for the Royals since his freshman year, and newcomers like Ryan McKinney, a freshman outfielder from Bakersville, NC, who has found a place on the team and looks forward to contributing this season.

Evan Duriga feeds baseballs to teammate Blake Shuler.

“It’s going great so far. I love being at Johnson,” Mckinney said. “I’m excited about my first year of college baseball— I’ve enjoyed bonding with everybody and I look forward to a great season with them all.”

The Royals look to start the season with wins as they travel to Toccoa Falls College for a doubleheader Feb. 13.


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