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Generals defensive wiz no stranger to road trips

By John Hornberg -
June 4, 2010 at 1:04 a.m.

Generals' Taylor Terrasas bumps fists with Mark Hudson after a base hit. Terrasas and his collegiate team, Louisiana Tech, travel thousands of miles every year to play baseball, more than any other college team in the nation.

No school logs more miles traveling for sporting events than Louisiana Tech, and Taylor Terrasas knows that firsthand.

The shortstop for the Victoria Generals is a shortstop for the university, which inexplicably plays its athletics events as part of the Western Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs' closest conference opponent - New Mexico State - is more than 600 miles and one time zone away, and most opponents are a good 1,000-mile trip from the university's home in Ruston, La.

It's a schedule that pails in comparison to professional schedules, but is one of the most rigorous in college sports. It's all about getting focused for the games, Terrasas said.

"We're the only school in the central time zone, so it's rough playing that way," he said. "We just try to get focused for it. And that's the main thing playing on that conference."

He was lucky this year.

The longest road trip he and his teammates went on this season, about a week and a half in the middle of March, carried the Bulldogs on a 2,500-mile jaunt through Texas, New Mexico and Arkansas. The Bulldogs also took a trip through Nevada and Arizona to close out the season and play in the WAC tournament.

Next season, the Santa Fe, Texas, native and his Louisiana Tech teammates will make the 4,000-plus mile trek to Honolulu, with stops in San Jose and Sacramento, Calif., along the way. Altogether, they will log about 8,000 miles on one conference road trip.

"Just about once a year, we'll take a trip that's a week, week and a half long," Terrasas said. "I know last year, they took a week and a half-two week trip to Hawaii and San Jose, and just made it one trip."

His first college season was a successful one. Terrasas had a batting average around .360 in 40 games, 22 of them starts. After starting the year on the bench, he was given a chance to prove himself with some positive results.

"Toward the end, coach gave me a shot, and I just kind of stood up and took it. And I just got on a groove and things kept looking good for me," Terrasas said.

He said he was recruited by the Generals. Terrasas said coach Chris Clemons had seen him play at a workout and was recruited by the team's front office.

Clemons said he and Terrasas' father, Rudy Terrasas, are friends, and that's how he became familiar with Taylor's style of play.

"He's a high energy guy, he's a defensive specialist that can steal bases and do all the little things," he said. "He's grown up around baseball. Those are the types of guys that I want to deal with. He knows the game, he's a guy I don't have to baby sit and walk through all the steps."

Terrasas also has ties to major league baseball. His father is the scouting director for the New York Mets and a longtime former scout with the Texas Rangers. He was drafted after his senior season of high school by the Cardinals in the 39th round, but opted to go to college.

"To have a dad that's in baseball, it really helps," he said. "You get more knowledge of the game because you're around baseball guys at a high level. It just helps you in every aspect, and you tend to look at things differently."



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