Elander, team striving only for excellence

Junior catcher Josh Elander earned three preseason accolades for his strong performance in the 2011 baseball season.

Baseball America named Elander a second-team preseason All-American, and in December, he was named a second-team preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Collegiate Baseball also named him a third-team All-American.

Last season, Elander earned second-team all-Mountain West honors and was named to the Mountain West Conference All-Tournament Team as a sophomore. He hit .333 with 11 doubles, two triples and five home runs in 48 games. He was 9-for-9 in stolen bases and tallied 38 RBIs.

Elander earned a spot on the 22-man roster for the Collegiate National Team last summer. He was the starting catcher and posted the highest batting average on the team by hitting .327 in 14 games. He also had seven extra base hits — five doubles and two triples. He posted seven RBIs and two stolen bases.

Q: What did you learn from last season?

A: The importance of consistency throughout the season. Last year was a perfect example of the saying, ‘Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.’ We were not as consistent as we would have liked to have been. We were successful in short spurts, but we lost games we should’ve won. Moving forward, we’ve learned from our mistakes last year and have made adjustments and will continue to and strive for a more consistent team this spring.

Q: What have you been personally working on during the offseason?

A: Overall defense. Catching is such a strenuous position with tons of things going on at all times. In the offseason, I have the time to break down each and every aspect of catching and assess which aspects of my game need the most improvement.

Q: What are your expectations for the team this season?

A: To win a national championship. We recognize it is a process, and to get to the pinnacle of college baseball, we must continue to focus on one day at a time and strive to get one percent better each day.

Q: What are your expectations for yourself?

A: Be the best teammate I can be and help the younger guys get adjusted to the speed of college baseball as quickly as possible.

Q: What is going to be a strength in the infield?

A: Everyone is extremely athletic and capable of consistently making the routine play.

Q: What is going to be an obstacle in the infield?

A: With [infielder] Jantzen [Witte] out for the first part of the season — but some guys will be given opportunities to shine when otherwise they may have not.

Q: What do you look forward to the most?

A: Going through the grind of a college baseball season with my brothers and all of the things I will learn along the way.

Q: If you wanted TCU to know one thing about you and your team, what would it be?

A: We are selfless individuals, take pride in our energy and how we play the game and are constantly striving for excellence.