For Richmond native Ross Abrash, his connection to the University of Richmond go much deeper than the sport of baseball. Abrash's father, Dr. Samuel Abrash, is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science at the University.
"It was a big part of the decision to come here," Abrash said. "I felt so comfortable here and it was nice to stay so close to my family."
It's early in the decision process, but Abrash believes he's going to major in Environmental Studies, and will more than likely have a class with his dad.
Abrash's connection with his dad goes past the academics. He first picked up baseball when he was five years old and got involved in the sport because of his dad, who is a big baseball fan. The first tee-ball team Abrash was on was the Mets', ironically his dad's favorite MLB team.
After years of playing baseball, it never gets old, and his favorite spot on the field is in the outfield.
"I love catching fly balls," he said.
Even though some things remain the same on the diamond, there are transitions every college player goes through the first year.
"I expected the hardest transition to be adjusting to the pitching, but that wasn't as hard as adjusting to the defense," Abrash said. "As far as the hitters that I have to face in the outfield, they are just a lot stronger so the ball will travel much more than I expect."
As his freshman season quickly approaches, Abrash is exciting to get to work with his teammates and is looking forward to the road trips.
"I've heard a lot about them from other players and they sound like a lot of fun," he said. "I think I'm most looking forward to either the Coastal trip or going to Texas for spring break - both of those trips we are going to be playing big opponents."
Abrash and the Spiders will open their 2017 campaign on Friday, February 17 at defending national champion, Coastal Carolina.