Offseason With Gamecock Baseball - Arendas Off to a Good Start in the Cape
June 18, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. -
GamecocksOnline will feature South Carolina baseball each Wednesday throughout the summer as the Gamecocks begin preparation for next season and the 2015 slate. This week, we visit with infielder DC Arendas.
Q&A by Chelsea Carlson - Media Relations Assistant
Fresh off a successful sophomore season, DC Arendas is one of three Gamecocks playing in the Cape Cod League with the Cotuit Kettleers this summer. Through the first six games he is hitting .500 (7-for-14), which ties for the league lead and has tallied three runs scored, two RBI and two stolen bases. DC took a few minutes to tell us about his summer on the Cape.
Q: What has your experience in the Cape Cod League been like so far? How did you feel when you found out that you would be playing in the Cape Cod League?
A: I was extremely grateful [to get the opportunity to play in the Cape Cod League]. I was hanging out with my roommates in Columbia when Coach [Mike] Roberts called and gave [me] the opportunity to play in the Cape. It was something that I discussed with my family and we figured out a way to get up here [to Massachusetts]. It's been a really awesome experience. I'm staying with the Skarbek family and they have three young boys [Dave, Michael and Brian] so it's been pretty cool to get to know them. I'm sure that as the summer goes along we'll get even closer. It's been really fun. I think the people up here are open to accepting the players into their family and the entire community of the Cape Cod League is just awesome.
Q: Tell us more about your host family.
A: It's pretty cool to have the Skarbek family open their house to [me]. With three young boys that love sports, I've been trying to encourage them that they have a greater purpose in life then just playing sports. Just [being able to] get a taste of a different culture up here [has been a great experience]. We're trying to go see a Red Sox game once [the Skarbek kids] get out of school, hopefully we can make that trip to Boston.
Q: What's it like being on the same team with players from other schools and getting the chance to play with two of your teammates [Vince Fiori and Matthew Vogel]?
A: It's cool because you get to meet guys from all over the country that you usually wouldn't play with or against. It's awesome having Vince and Matt up here. They're both working to get better and improve on a daily basis. It's nice have a couple of teammates to be with. It's pretty cool to see how quickly the team bonds together and I think a lot of that will determine how well we do this season.
Q: What are some of the team bonding activities you've participated in?
A: The Cotuit Athletic Association put on an event that was like a picnic. The entire team had to do skits. We got broken up into groups of three or four and had to come up with skits. We also had a to do a team dance together. I think that kind of atmosphere helped guys get to know each other and loosen everyone up.
Q: What are you working on this summer to become a better player and what are your goals for the off-season?
A: A couple of goals I have are to become more consistent each and every day and continue to learn from Coach Roberts. He is one of the most detailed coaches I think I've ever played for. I'm just going to continue to have an open mind and try to learn from him. Also, I'm just trying to serve our teammates. In getting to know different guys from different backgrounds is pretty cool because it will only help with the players we have [coming to South Carolina] next year. Personally, I'd want to get more consistent. I'd like to get stronger and faster. I'm going to work in the weight room to try to do that. Coach Billy Anderson and Ryan Waterbury at South Carolina have developed a program for me to do up here and I'm thankful they did that. I'm going to be working hard to improve on those things.
Q: Tell us more about Coach Roberts. (Mike Roberts was South Carolina head coach Chad Holbrook's coach at North Carolina from 1990-93. Holbrook also served as Roberts' assistant coach at UNC)
A: Coach Roberts has really opened a lot of different doors as far as talking about base running. He's written several books on base running, so he's obviously very knowledgeable about it. His son Brian (former Gamecock player in 1999 and current member of the New York Yankees) plays in the big leagues. It's pretty cool to get another side to an aspect like [base running] that's becoming a bigger and bigger part of college baseball and also professional baseball. I think its pretty cool just to listen, to come to practice every day and know that you're going to learn something new. Coach Roberts is an awesome guy and its pretty cool to see how passionate he is about the game and helping others become better.
Q: What is it like playing with a wooden bat?
A: The wood obviously evens the game up on both sides. It's a lot more difficult I think because there's a smaller margin for error. We've seen some broken bats here in the first few games. It definitely changes the game. It can definitely help you as a hitter though because you have to become more consistent. Some of the hits that may have blooped in with metal bats are being caught. I think it's something that we're all going to work on. For anyone that is playing college baseball and aspires to play professionally, it's a step that bridges that gap in getting used to playing with [a wooden bat] every day.
Q: What's typical day like for you?
A: I usually wake up a little early and try to get a workout in. Then I read my bible before we head over to the field to practice and I try to get a meal in before since we're at the field for a few hours. The games are earlier here since our field doesn't have lights so we usually play at 5 p.m. and we're done around 8 p.m. and done in time for dinner with our host families.
Q: Have you had a chance to explore the area at all?
A: Not yet. We've only had one off day so far. Hopefully this next off day we'll get to go around, there's a lake near here that looks really nice and maybe we'll get to go on the Cape and fish a little bit.
Q: What is something you miss from home that you can't get at the Cape?
A: First of all my family. You can't replace you're family anywhere you go so I definitely miss them. As far as little things, there's no Bojangles' or Chick-fil-A up here. The sweet tea and chicken are something we're missing out on a little bit but I think we'll be able to survive without them for a couple of months.
Q: What was your reaction when you heard Kyle Martin decided to return for his senior season?
A: I think it's awesome. Kyle was one of our best hitters all year. Having anyone come back for their senior year you expect them to be a leader, as we'll expect Kyle to be. He's a great teammate and I think everyone in our locker room and on our coaching staff is excited to have him back.
Q: What are you looking forward to for next season at South Carolina?
A: I'm looking forward to getting back with the guys in the fall and meeting the incoming freshmen. Just going to work from day one, everyone wants to get better and I think a lot of guys are doing that this summer. I'm excited to see that, get back with guys and get back to work in August.