ABILENE -

We're doing quick hits at ACU, McMurry and Hardin-Simmons to catch up with the squads before opening day.

Starting at ACU, with the winningest coach in school history. Britt Bonneau is entering his 18th season at ACU. 17 of those have been at the Division II level.

"I think our guys are just ready to get out here and play somebody besides ourselves," said Bonneau. "Some of the competition that we're going to get to play, some of the venues that we're going to get to play at, we can represent not only  ACU baseball, but Abilene Christian University."

After moving up to Division I, the 'Cats are out of postseason contention until 2017.

Senior pitcher Brady Rodriguez is ready for the clean slate.

"It'll be a challenge. Some top 20, 30 teams that are gonna be looking to beat us into the ground, it'll be fun to go right after them. Nothing to lose," said Rodriguez.

Moving to McMurry, Saturday coach John  Bynington starts his sixth season as head coach. The Warhawks enter this season with a year of the  Division II level under their belt. And it helps.

"Some of the stadiums were new, the teams were all new, and a lot of our guys were new. So in combination of being in a league that a lot of our guys are familiar with now, it's no longer brand new, it's going to help us," said Bynington.

The Warhawks open their season Saturday hosting Angelo State.

A few miles up the road to Hardin-Simmons, Coach Steve Coleman is quick to illustrate what baseball season is really all about.

"Optimism is in the air, it's a new beginning, everyone's anticipating spring, the flowers and the trees coming back, so it's a fun time as a baseball player. Because everyone is 0-0, and you're optimistic," said Coleman.

The Cowboys will play their first home game on Feb. 25 against Southwestern.