Catching Up With Nelson Ward
Feb. 18, 2013
Nelson Ward, a 5-11, 170-pound middle infielder from Marietta, Ga., is now in his sophomore season with the Bulldogs. In his freshman campaign, Ward batted .277 with 13 RBI in 44 games while making 21 starts. He was the backup second baseman behind senior Levi Hyams. Ward has made a smooth transition to a starting role in 2013 as he led the team with a .500 average in the opening series at Georgia Southern. In the 6-5 victory last Friday, Ward went a career-best 4-for-5.
How are your preparations going for the 2013 season?
“They’re going well. We’ve got workouts and then we’ve got practices in the afternoon. We’re all getting stronger and our swings and defense are coming together well.”
What is your most important goal for the upcoming season?
“The biggest thing is to make it farther than we did last year and to make it to the SEC Tournament. We want to do bigger and better things than we did last year and move on from there.”
What are some of the things you took away from last season playing behind senior Levi Hyams?
“I got to learn a lot playing behind Levi and Kyle [Farmer]. They’re both older guys that I’ve learned a lot from. It was very beneficial. Now knowing how long the season is and being able to learn from them were the biggest things.”
What was your most memorable moment from last year?
“It would probably be the walk-off wins we had last year. In our first 10 games, I think we had three or four walk-off wins. Those were all real fun to be a part of.”
Who has had the biggest impact on your baseball career?
“I’d say one of my older brothers. He always took me to practice and he always loved practicing and throwing the ball with me. My brother Stanton has definitely had the biggest impact on my baseball career.”
Is there anything in particular you are looking to improve upon from last year?
“Being more consistent at the plate. I want to get my strikeout to walk ratio a little bit better. Also, you always need to work on defense.”
As a middle infielder, how much has it helped you being able to play next to Kyle Farmer?
“It helps a lot. He’s the best shortstop I’ve ever played with. He’s smooth and makes my job a lot easier because he’s just about perfect. Playing with him is just easy.”
How are you approaching coming into this year as the starting second baseman and leadoff hitter?
“I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and trying not to put any pressure on myself. Kyle will help me out as much as he can at shortstop. My only job as a lead off hitter is to get on base and let them knock me in so I don’t have to hit .500 or get a hit every game as long as I’m able to get on base. Any way I can get on is good and the other guys will pick me up and drive me in.”
“It’s great getting to play with Brandon in high school and Ross Ripple. I know how [Ross] pitches and it’s easy to play behind him since I’ve already played behind him before. It’s a lot of fun.”