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Vanderbilt baseball outfielder Dominic de la Osa responds to your "Ask A 'Dore" questions submitted online earlier this week.
Talk about last season and the atmosphere of the NCAA Regional. The Regional was amazing. It was the most exciting series that I've played in during my first three years here. We had tons of fans at Hawkins Field: in right field, in left field, all along the stadium. It was a thrilling experience.
With one week of practice in the books, what are you and fellow seniors doing to acclimate the new members of the team? We're getting to know everyone and making sure the younger guys are comfortable in school and ready to go on the field. We're trying to help them out as much as we can. As seniors, we go out and get after it in practice. We're trying to set an example.
What's your favorite part of playing baseball and why? My favorite part is hitting. It's the most fun and challenging part of the game. It's really rewarding when you succeed at the plate, get a big hit, or do something good.
What types of workouts do you do to have so much power in your swing? I just swing as hard as I can every time and don't hold back. I just do normal workouts with the team and nothing out of the ordinary to add power.
Is there a greatest moment you had either on the field or at the plate that sticks out in your mind? One play that I remember is hitting a walk-off homerun against Tennessee my freshman year. I think the whole Regional last year even tops that just because of the fan support. It was awesome.
What are you working on right now to improve your game for the upcoming season during fall practice? Right now, I'm trying to perfect my hitting to the opposite field. Also, I'm working on getting better in the outfield.
How much of your decision to come back for your senior season had to do with how last season ended? That was the main reason I came back. It was so much fun last year, especially the final couple of weeks. It was just crazy. There's no other baseball like that. Coming back was my last chance to play competitively (in the NCAA). I love the way we play, and I just wanted one more year.
What were you doing at the age of 12 to position yourself to play collegiate baseball? I always just wanted to have fun with the game even when I was younger. I still try to be like a kid on the field and just play with a lot of energy.
If not pro baseball, what would you see yourself doing after college? I have no idea yet.
Is it true that your older brother taught you how to hit? (note: this question was submitted by Dom's older brother) Yeah.
Do you think you can hit a ball further than him today? (Laughing) I don't think so. I think he can still hit it a little further than I can. He taught me how to swing.
Were there any changes that you made last year to improve your power numbers? I didn't change anything. Playing year-around and getting more in-game experience has been beneficial for me.
I noticed you wear number 3 like former Commodore Caesar Nicolas, who is also from Miami. Did you choose to wear number 3 to follow in his footsteps? Is he your hero? (Laughing) Yes, he is my hero. Number 3 was given to me when I first came in. I knew Caesar, and it was real cool to have his number. I was just given 3, and that's what I stuck with, and it happened to be his number, too.
This summer you played in the Cape Cod League. What stands out so much about that league, its tradition, and its players? The Cape's been a good league for a while now. It's one of the top summer leagues you can go to. Playing Friday night baseball means you play against the best pitchers and players from all around the nation. It's solid baseball day in and day out.
With the majority of the guys coming back on offense, do you think the team is going to be even stronger in that part of the game? I hope so.
You hustle and play very intensely on the diamond. Does this come to you naturally, or did somebody or something affect this style or attitude of play? That's my style of play. That's Coach Corbin's style of play, too. He likes a fast-paced game. He likes everyone running hard. It's what he teaches us and what the players here try to do. Everyone does it, so it's fun to watch. From defense to base running to hitting, it's all fast-paced and very lively. It's a lot of action, so it makes the game fun.