South Bend Cubs get ready for opening day

NOW: South Bend Cubs get ready for opening day

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- The South Bend Cubs home opener is less than one week away, April 9. ABC57 spoke with players and the team's new manager to hear their excitement for the upcoming season.

"You go the whole off-season knowing that first day coming up is the most exciting day," said Catcher Ethan Hearn

The Cubs start their season Friday, sure, but players like Hearn are more excited for the home opener at Four Winds Field Tuesday.

"Everybody, even in the big leagues talks about opening day, there's just something about it. You only have so many in your career," Hearn said.

Pitcher Grant Kipp said he's feeling good after spring training.

"My biggest goals for me were throwing a little bit harder, which I've been able to do in spring training, and then developing a change-up, especially for lefties, so I feel like I did a pretty good job at both of those things," Kipp said.

And he said there's something for every fan this season.

"We got a lot of guys who play baseball the right way, get on base, steal, do all the fundamentals, then we got some pop and some flash as well, so I think this team will appeal to any fan," Kipp said.    

This year, Nick Lovullo is starting his tenure as manager for the team. He shared his aspirations for his first season with the Cubs.

"Playing hard, playing the game the right way," he said, "a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of passion, and just encouraging the guys to be themselves, go out and have fun."

His career with the Cubs comes as the City of South Bend plans a massive expansion of the field, part of a bigger downtown revitalization plan.

"It's growing, there's excitement, there's a buzz going on here, downtown South Bend and so, myself and everyone here, the staff, the team, we're excited to contribute to that and be a part of it," Lovullo said.

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