Feb. 15, 2018
Adam Hill is scheduled to get the start on the mound as South Carolina opens the 2018 season Friday against VMI at Founders Park. As the lone starter from last year's weekend rotation, the junior right-handed pitcher doesn't take his role lightly.
"Pitching on opening day is a huge honor. I'm excited to go out there and do what I've done the last two years. I want to go out there and have fun, and try to win a ball game.
"When it's my day to pitch, I'll get to the ball park and joke around for a little bit, but after we eat our pregame meal, I keep to myself and lock in. I'll put my earphones in, listen to music, and get ready to play. I don't talk much.
"There's no pressure on me at all. I've learned from great guys that have been here before such as Braden Webb, Clarke Schmidt and Wil Crowe. All those older guys who pitched in big moments have helped me along the way and really prepared me for this. I feel completely prepared, and I'm ready to get out there.
"My mindset when I take the mound is to attack. There are no nerves. When I get on the mound, I try to be as aggressive as possible.
What motivates me is a chance to go to Omaha and win a national championship.
"Being the center of attention as a pitcher is a lot of fun. I love it. You have to embrace it. You can't make it bigger than it is. We've got the best fans in college baseball. Playing in the SEC, especially on the road, you can't make it too big of a deal. You have to keep it small. It's the same game you were playing since you were younger.
"It's all a mindset. When you don't have your best stuff, you have to keep the same mindset that no matter what, I'm still going to beat you. You have to have that aggressive mindset.
"What motivates me is a chance to go to Omaha and win a national championship. That's all of our motivation.
"You always have to prove yourself. Every day. I've worked as hard as I could all fall and into the spring trying to prove myself. Everyone else on the team has done that as well.
"I pitched this summer in the Cape Cod League against the best competition in the country. I had to learn to become more of a complete pitcher. I learned to throw all four pitches I have for strikes. I really worked on my curve ball. I think those things make me more versatile. Getting stronger over the summer was big for me, too.
"I know what the expectations are here. Last year was really hard. We felt like we had a really good team, and we lost a lot of close games.
"It's a new year with a new coaching staff. We know how much talent we have. We know we're capable of winning a lot of ball games, and we're ready to show that. I know I'm prepared. I've been working hard. I'm going to go out there and do the best I can, and at the end of the day, I'll know I left everything out there.
"We're talented, and we have a deep lineup. We have a really good pitching staff. We're just ready to show everybody."
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