Roadrunners Q&A with Daniel Rockett
Senior center fielder Daniel Rockett sat down with goUTSA.com at the team's hotel in Corvallis, Ore., to talk about the Roadrunners' success this season, the excitement surrounding this weekend's NCAA Regional and his career.
Can you think of any better way to finish your UTSA career than winning a conference championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament?
"Not at all. This is pretty much the perfect way to end it, although we're obviously not done yet. We still have a chance to do some great things and I have complete confidence that we can."
What have been some of the factors into the success of the team this season?
"Everyone has bought into the whole approach that nobody's asking questions why we're doing something. We just do it because we know it will help us get better. Everybody's work ethic has been unreal. Anyone who watches our games can see that we have hard 90s, we're diving after balls and we always compete. Not to mention we click when we're off the field, too, so we have good team chemistry."
Along those lines, what's been the key to the team's success down the stretch?
"We've gotten hot at the right time and we're playing well in all facets of the game. This is how teams get into the NCAA Tournament and eventually to Omaha."
What are your thoughts on getting to face one of the top teams in the country in Oregon State in its home stadium to open the NCAA Regional?
"As a hitter, you obviously want to face the best pitching and Oregon State has that. If you get hits off those guys then it says a lot about your abilities. If you want to be the best you have to face the best. That's the way we are approaching the game Friday night. We're definitely not going to be playing scared. They're expected to win so the pressure shouldn't be on us."
This team has come from behind in 20 of the 35 wins. What kind of mentality does that take?
"We don't put pressure on ourselves. We might get down, but we have the confidence that we can come back. We have belief in our at-bats that we can put up runs and play good defense and put ourselves in the position to win."
What's been your favorite memory so far in a UTSA uniform?
"Definitely holding up that WAC trophy on Sunday afternoon. That was a great feeling for all of us."
Your older brother, Michael, also played for UTSA and there has been a Rockett in center field for the Roadrunners for the better part of the last decade. What's it like to be a part of something unique like that?
"It's been a lot of fun. My parents have been really proud of my brother and me for being able and fortunate enough to compete at this level. They're definitely going to miss coming to UTSA games to watch us play. It's meant a lot to them."
What are your plans after UTSA?
"I still want to finish getting my degree. Hopefully, I'll get picked up to play pro ball, but I want to finish school whether it's during breaks or if I have to come back when I'm done playing. I want to play as long as I can, but I want that degree and eventually coach and teach."
How do you want UTSA fans to remember the 2013 Roadrunners?
"We want to be remembered as competitors; as a team that never gave up. We might not have the most talented team in the country, but we work hard at everything we do and we play the game with a desire to win."