Batter Up: Evans swings to the top

To say that Darryl Evans likes the sport of baseball would be a supreme understatement. On the contrary, the baseball player may just be in love.

A champion at heart, Evans, 20, said he was born to play the sport and is ready to conquer new endeavors this year. Serving as centerfield on the FAMU baseball team, Evans gets the chance to showcase his talents and athleticism to rival teams and roaring fans during every game.

Evans said he has been doing so since he was a young child.

“I’ve been playing baseball since I was five,” said Evans, a sophomore education student from Gary, Ind. “My dad used to play, and my cousins and I played together too. I’ve just been playing so long that it just stuck with me.”

And stuck with him it did. Evans began perfecting his skills as a player on his tee-ball team back in Indiana, then by playing Little League baseball for years. This in turn is what helped shape Evans into a formidable competitor.

“I’d say I’m pretty good at it,” said Evans, who eventually went on to play baseball during his middle school and high school years. When not playing for his school, the athlete exercised his skills for AAU baseball during the summer.

Needless to say, the athlete has the aptitude for the sport and seemed to be the perfect fit for the Rattlers. Evans said he began practicing with the team in the fall of 2007. Practicing hard every day with the team while balancing a 3.0 grade point average may prove to be a challenge for some athletes, but for Evans it is a breeze.

“I go to practice and then I go home,” he said. “I take a shower, go to the café and then I study. When we go on road trips it’s kind of hard because I miss a lot of class but I can take my books on the road and study.”

Evans said playing with the team has been fun and he has learned a lot from Robert Lucas, the new head coach.

“He’s really good,” he said. “Our head coach really knows what baseball is all about. The rest of the coaches teach a bunch of different things; I love playing with this team. We all have fun. We all play together. We all win and lose together. We are all like brothers basically.”

His teammates feel the same way about him. Tim Jones, 19, who serves as both the team’s pitcher and first baseman, said Evans is a go-getter.

“He’s hardworking and dedicated to the game,” said Jones, a freshman general studies student from Atlanta. “He’s always at practice. We met my freshman year and we formed a great relationship. I definitely believe he’ll make it to the pros.”

So far this season, the baseball team has only had four wins and has lost to competitors such as Alabama State, Presbyterian and Bethune-Cookman University. Nevertheless, Evans is optimistic about what the team can accomplish this season.

“We’re coming along right now,” he said. “We have a lot of talent on the team. We are way better than what our record shows.”

Despite the team’s record, Evans remains optimistic about his future. The athlete has high hopes of playing for a major league baseball team and plans on working his way to the top.

“I plan on going pro,” he said. “I want to get drafted. I would like to play for a team around home, but whatever team picks me then that’s what I’ll play for.”