Under Mike Bosch, Syracuse swipes bases at high rate

Home   /   Under Mike Bosch, Syracuse swipes bases at high rate

first_img Published on March 29, 2017 at 11:15 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ When Syracuse steals bases, it almost never loses.Midway through the season, the Orange has stolen 31 bases, good for fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference. SU is 12-2 in games it steals a base and 6-0 when it steals more than one base. Syracuse is on pace to finish with 62 swipes this year, which would place fourth in the program’s 17-year history and be the most since 2011.As Syracuse’s (17-10, 3-4 Atlantic Coast) aggressiveness on the base paths has increased since 2015, so has its wins. In 2015, when Syracuse finished with a 20-26 record, SU had more losses than stolen bases. That year, the team had its lowest total since 2006. In 2016, head coach Mike Bosch’s first year, the team improved its record to 27-26, but managed to steal only 37 bases.SU’s steals total declined each season from 2013 to 2015. Since Bosch took over in 2016, steal rates jumped, thanks to an emphasis on the craft in practices.“We focus a lot more (now) on our base running than we ever did before coach Bosch was here,” said Alyssa Dewes, a senior outfielder who played under Bosch and former head coach Leigh Ross. “We would never focus on the specifics like your turns or getting a good start out of the box or finishing all the way through.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textUnder Bosch, players increase agility with ladder sprints, hurdles and sprints and lateral movements with resistance bands. The drills not only increase sprint speed, but give players better jumps. Base stealing is decided by the jump, junior shortstop Sammy Fernandez said, and foot speed is crucial to the first step. The team also has worked on building muscle, performing squats. Building muscle increases leg strength, speed and power.Players calculate their times each week. After Bosch took over, to stress base running, he timed players at the end of base running drills. The times include running home to first base, second base to home plate and home to home. Good times are three seconds, six seconds and 12 seconds, respectively, assistant coach Kristyn Sandberg said.Each Tuesday practice starts with different drills, running specific legs of the diamond. Each set ends with Bosch timing each player. One of the biggest legs is the home-to-home, in which the players compete for the best time. Dewes, an outfielder, runs the fastest, consistently finishing around 10.8 seconds around the bases.“I would say about 90 percent of our team is under 12,” sophomore second baseman Alicia Hansen said. “And the people who are over 12 are people who don’t need to go home to home.”Rachel Burkhardt has gotten notably faster this season, Sandberg said. Only a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the season, Burkhardt finished just over the “good” intervals in each set. But over the past few weeks, she has dipped under three seconds from home to first base, reached 5.8 seconds from second-to-home and dropped under 12 running the full bases.“We have a good seven or eight of us that are always competing to cross the finish line,” Fernandez said. “And when we do base running, especially home to home, we’re always within a tenth of a second with each other. We just are always competing with our speed.”The stopwatch tells players whether they are on the right track and what they can improve Bosch said — whether it’s turns, jumps or straightaway speed.“Bosch loves the stopwatch,” Fernandez said.Developing the mental nuances to reading game situations also helps boost SU’s stolen bases numbers. One drill, called independent base running, starts with the bases loaded. A ball is put in play, with any number of outs, and each runner reacts like she is the only runner on base. At the end of the situation, three runners could be on third base, for example. One player could make it into a triple while another player may advance two bases and another only one. The independent base running forces critical attentiveness on the base paths, Sandberg said.“Speed is just so important to the game,” Bosch said. “You’ve got to score however you can.” Commentslast_img

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