Feb. 11, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Senior Spotlight series continues with third baseman Chris Campbell. Campbell discusses competing with his best friend, the pitchers he doesn't like to face and some advice that has helped him through his career.
Is it hard to believe it's already your senior season?
"Yes. As a kid growing up it's always the season you think about, that one day it's going to be your last season. You never think it's going to get there because you play so many games for so long. It has been a long road, but it's crazy that it's actually here. I'm really excited though because I think we have one of the best teams we've had in a while. We have a lot seniors and a lot of young talent. I'm really looking forward to getting out there and getting after it with the guys."
Talk about what it's like to compete with your best friend, Craig Veech, for playing time.
"It's different than anything I've done before. It's a lot of fun actually. At this level we're all mature enough that it's not about a friendship, it's about playing and trying to make the team better. You always want to win the spot, but if I'm not going to be out there and Craig is playing better than me, then power to him. But at the same time, I'm going to be pushing him. We're always working together and if somebody messes something up, we're the first to talk to each other and give advice. It's really healthy competition."
Is there pitcher that you don't like to face in practice?
"Yes - two of them - Ben (Nelson) and Joel (Rinehart). Ben always jams me and Joel has that really quick windup and it's the worst thing in the world to try and time. It gets me every time. That timing is just brutal.
"We talk in the locker room before practice about which pitchers are throwing live. When I find out it's going to be one of them, I just prepare as best as I can. It's fun and it's great to challenge yourself, but they are tough. I like when the season starts so I don't have to face them anymore."
Talk about the bond and camaraderie that has formed with this senior class.
"A good example is the friendship between Craig and I. We're best friends and we're going for the same spot together. There are 10 of us, so it's a lot and everyone hangs out with everyone. We're all doing the same things together and I think it really helps out our team a lot. It helps with the young guys, too, because they see us together and we can bring them in with us and it helps the team. It's leading by example."
Talk about working with some of the younger guys on the team.
"Ryan Turner is a third baseman. It's kind of interesting to come in and battle for playing time with two seniors. Craig and I help him out. I know when I came here as a freshman playing third base was new to me and it was a struggle. So, we help him out as much as we can."
Is there any specific advice you remember receiving early in your career here that has helped you along the way?
"Wes Olson, who was a pitcher here and was in my company, always told me that if you ever get in trouble to `Wear it on the chin and live to fight another day.' It's not as much baseball related, but it keeps you focused on the game. It's one thing I've always done, because when things go bad they can snowball. I tell the younger guys to own up to their mistakes and it will help you, especially on the field."
What is your major and what is your service selection?
"My major is political science and international relations and I really enjoy it. My service selection is Naval Intelligence, which I'm really excited about. I'm looking forward to it. I'll be going to Virginia Beach, Va., for six months after graduation and I could go anywhere from there."