Birmingham, Ala. (WHNT) The SWAC basbeall tournament begins in mid May and for the first time, Alabama A&M feels like it has a chance. Third place in the east, but fresh off a double-header sweep of first place Alabama State. Meaningful baseball is a new concept to the Bulldogs who lost 41 games just three seasons ago.
"It was dead," senior shortstop Julio Nunez said about the locker room atmosphere back then. "We were used to losing, losing was a habit."
Mitch Hill took over the program in 2013 and none of his players knew what was coming next.
"That Fall when he first came he really wanted to show us he was the boss," senior 2nd baseman Jordan Friend said before a game in Birmingham.
Hill started holding his players accountable to mistakes made on the field and off. The change in culture was a shock to most players who were used to a lack of stability. Mitch Hill came in and asserted his position right away.
"Guys know that I mean business when I'm talking to them about it so guys have held themselves accountable and responsible."
Discipline turned to wins. Alabama A&M has broken the program record for division one victories in a season each of the last two years. Coach Hill isn't surprised, but he is pleased with the change in culture.
"When we step on the field with someone we are going to expect to win and I don't think that was there before."
No question it's there now.