There’s little doubt what coach Rick Rembielak expects from his University of Akron baseball team.
He possesses an attitude that many sports fans crave in their coaches — get the opponent down and keep them down.
It has been paying off in recent games. After opening the season 2-8, the Zips, although still not dominating opponents, have gone 5-7 since, and that includes taking two out of three from the Ball State Cardinals during their opening series of the Mid-American Conference season.
Though they’re making progress, Rembielak wants his team to develop a killer instinct so they can succeed in the conference.
“We don’t want to end up being complacent,” he said after the team’s recent home opener that the Zips won 4-0. “We had a chance to double that [run] output.”
There is one important facet of the game he seeks offensively.
“We’re looking for quality at-bats. We’re not saying you have to get a hit every time. If you don’t have quality at-bats … it can let the air out of the balloon and keep the pressure on the pitcher,” he said.
That’s the expectation from starters and those who might be called to pinch hit.
Rembielak realizes that he and the team are going through a learning process with one another, something he said accounts for the slow start. But he said there is another factor.
“I think it’s more or less as we play the games, we find out who can do what and put them in the right spot,” he said.
Zips football coach Terry Bowden hoped to have an idea of where his team is from the perspective of a depth chart this week.
But as they went through paces during Tuesday morning practice, it was clear that they’re still juggling players in and out of various teams and still making changes, such as the move by Zach D’Orazio from quarterback to wide receiver.
Bowden’s coaching staff would rather not make that assessment just yet. Bowden said any depth chart he received would be etched in wet cement. For him it’s a matter of finding out if he and his assistants are seeing the same things on the field.
It looks as if the process will play itself out until just before the spring football game on April 21.
The men’s basketball team will celebrate its 2011-12 season April 12 at Rhodes Arena.
Social hour begins at 6 p.m., with a dinner buffet and awards ceremony to follow at 7.
The event is open to the public and costs $20 per person if reserved by April 6 ($25 per person after April 6).
Admission for the event is $10 for children age 12 and under, as well as university students with a valid student ID.
Tables, with seating for 10 people, can be purchased for $150. Dress for the event is casual.
For information on purchasing men’s basketball season tickets for the 2012-13 season, contact the UA Athletics Ticket Office at 888-992-5766 or visit GoZips.com/Tickets.
Look for the revised Zips football schedule, minus Temple, which left for the Big East, within days.
George M. Thomas can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Zips blog at https://ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.