The first pitch of the 2023 UWG baseball season is imminent. The team strives to start strong on Feb. 3 for their home opener against Augusta University, who struggled in 2022 (14-34 Overall). UWG also looks to upset the Preseason Coaches’ Poll which slate the team to finish 9th in the 2023 Gulf South Conference.
“I can guarantee you that’s not where we’re gonna be at the end of the season,” says Outfielder Anthony Calabro. “We’re too good to be there with all the new transfers we’ve got.”
UWG finished 10th in the Gulf South Conference (GSC) last year, despite its positive overall record (24-20). The team failed to make the playoffs after a negative conference record (13-16).
“I think last year we definitely should’ve been higher than we were – our talent was there, but we just couldn’t get it done,” says Calabro.
A successful season for UWG hinges on improving their conference record.
“I don’t see a lot of teams that we can’t take at least two or three from with the guys we’ve got,” says Calabro. “We’ve gotta come back this year and shock some people.”
Calabro, now in his junior year, is fresh off making the 2023 Preseason All-Conference Team. After an impressive personal 2022 season, it is no surprise that the Florida native is looking to drive both himself and the team to another level in the upcoming season.
“We’ve just gotta clean up, our defense has been a little sloppy the past couple days, but honestly, on the hitting side we’re gonna do some damage,” says Calabro.
If a .343 batting average and 42 runs batted in last year weren’t enough to exemplify Calabro’s status as a key player on UWG’s roster, an impressive 21 stolen bases further indicate the 6-foot right-hander’s stellar 2022 season.
“Every year I’m looking to get better, that’s just what it’s about,” says Calabro. “The coaches trust me, and I trust them with their calls. The coaching staff here has been really good about putting it on me and I love running – if I’ve got the pitcher timed up, I’m gonna take it.”
After a respectable tally of eight home runs in 2022, Calabro is looking for more in 2023.
“I don’t want to put a number on it, but double digits would be cool,” says Calabro. “I haven’t done it before, so that would be pretty exciting, but honestly I’m just trying to get at-bats put together. If it happens, it happens.”
Looking back to opening day of West Georgia’s 2022 season, the team beat Kentucky State in a convincing 14-1 win. Calabro put together a standout performance in the game with three runs scored, two runs batted in and a hit to go along with two walks.
“Starting off hot is cool, but it’s staying consistent that’s gonna keep you in the lineup,” says Calabro. “I’m never gonna be content, I’m always looking to be better. Whether I’m fielding ground balls in the outfield, catching fly balls or hitting. Everything matters.”