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January 22, 2013

Shane Basen Q&A

Shane Basen is a senior infielder for the Charlotte 49ers. In 2012, he posted a .327 batting average and led the team with five triples and 45 RBI's.

As one of nine seniors on the team, he has big expectations for himself and his team.

Basen took time out of his schedule to sit down with NinerReport to discuss the upcoming season.

NinerReport: Do you have any personal expectations of yourself this year?

Basen: [My goals are] more team wise - win the conference and the tournament, make [an NCAA] regional. Hopefully [we can] get a couple of breaks and make [a] Super Regional. Personally, I want to have a good end to my college career. [I want to] stay healthy [and] play well. [I want to] stay out there, help the team and benefit the team, to win a lot of games.

NinerReport: What is your biggest goal for the upcoming season?

Basen: I hope to improve on my hitting from last year. Each year I've improved on my quality at bat. As a sophomore, I had a pretty good year hitting wise. I want to help the team as much as I can. [In terms of] fielding, I want to keep being consistent. I want to play where coach needs me to play, be the best I can at each position.

NinerReport: After all of the injuries last year, how are you feeling about the team coming into the year?

Basen: I'm excited. This feels more like my freshmen year where we won conference. Hitting and pitching are pretty balanced. We need some of the younger kids to step up. Weight room and conditioning is better. We show up early to practice and every one is ready to go. We are all itching for the season.

NinerReport: What aspect of your game have you been working on the most this fall to prepare for the season? Have you put more focus on hitting or maybe fielding?

Basen: I've been working a lot on hitting the ball. Just hitting to all fields with consistently. Last year I found out I was kind of streaky at times, [I'd] have bad games and then good games. [I want to] help the team get on base as much as I can [by] just [being able to] hit to all fields.

NinerReport: How are you feeling about the move from third base to shortstop?

Basen: Good. We've gotten a lot of practice. We get out there early and take some ground balls. Justin Rolen has been helping me a lot. He's played there the last few years. [I'm] just trying to get as many reps as you can for the season. It's a lot different than third. I've been playing third so long, it's taking time to get used to. It's a different aspect, but I'm feeling more comfortable.

NR: You had a great season last year, leading the team in RBI's (45) and racking up 65 hits, do you think this season will be even more successful?

Basen: I hope so. Personally, and as a team, we struggled last year and I think the more I can benefit our team, it'll improve our wins. I am trying to get better and get other people better, just receiving the leadership role. Everyone seems excited about this season.

NinerReport: Do you feel any extra added pressure being a veteran playing on a relatively young team?

Basen: I wouldn't say added pressure. There is a little more of a leadership role. There are a lot of talented freshmen. [I] just give them a lot of pointers here and there. They could help us a lot down the road this year. We just need some younger guys to step up. If we see anything they can work on, we give them some pointers. Matt Creech and Kory Shumate, they've improved tremendously over the last six months. They have a great chance to help us this year. And you know, whatever happens with injuries, some guys went down my freshmen year, and that's what gave me the opportunity.

NR: Has there been any change in your workout regiment this year? Maybe a change in your approach to the game?

Basen: Our lifting schedule and our conditioning has improved vastly. With the new football field, we lift three times a week with our new strength coach. He's awesome. Just from him I've gained about six pounds. This is probably the best shape I've ever been in. We get out there and work hard. It's a competitive atmosphere. It's not just getting out there and running until you're tired.

NinerReport: How do you feel about the coaching staff?

Basen: I love our whole coaching staff. I came here because of the coaches [and] I wanted to win. It fit who I am. We might not be the biggest school, but we work hard. We've competed against the biggest schools in the state and the country. We had a little down year last year, but coach Hibbs stayed positive. Each loss you learn something new, each practice you learn something new.

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