MURRAY — Baseball fans in Murray, Kentucky will get a first look of what the Dan Skirka era at Murray State will look like on Friday.
The first-year coach will lead the Racer baseball team into the season, kicking things off on the road against Oral Roberts.
Skirka said the transition back to Murray, where he served as an assistant coach from 2009-14, has been a smooth one.
"The players have been awesome; coachable," Skirka said. "They've done everything we've asked and that's all you can ask for in a transition with players and a new coaching staff. That was probably the biggest challenge in the fall. But that's what the fall is for. Getting four new coaches and 35 new players all on the same page and going in the right direction."
A lot of new faces will take the field for the Racers this year, as only two regulars in the lineup. Shortstop Jaron Robinson, and left fielder Ryan Perkins are the two lone returning starters from last year's team. Perkins will be switching positions as he will be on first base this year.
Skirka said the two have really stepped up as leaders for this team.
"Jaron and Ryan have been awesome," Skirka said. "They really have brought that leadership role everyday just coming to work. The guys have followed suit."
Murray State did return a lot of experience on the mound. However, the pitching for the Racers in recent years has been inconsistent, but the first year coach is hopeful his staff will be able to change that.
"I think it starts at the top with out plan as a team," Skirka said. "Then coach (Tanner) Gordon, our pitching coach has done a great job on the pitching side. The guys have been really receptive of that. I know they had some changes with their pitching coach in the past. Some of the juniors and seniors have had three or four pitching coaches, that's tough on a kid. Coach Gordon comes in and brings some consistency to that.
“With their maturity and logging the innings that they have, bringing in a great pitching coach like coach Gordon, we look for them to be a strength for our team."
Murray State will kick off the Dan Skirka era on Friday, when the Racers will travel to take on Oral Roberts in a three-game series.