Q and A With Tella: ITAT: Talk about the excitement of getting ready to play major college baseball:
Tella: "I have to say it's just an honor. I'm just so ready to start Feb. 17th. It's going to be great opening up with Missouri and playing in front of a big crowd. I'm ready to put it on the line for my coaches and teammates."
ITAT: What was it about Auburn that appealed to you considering most guys don't come across the country to play college sports?
Tella: "You're right, a lot of people don't cross the country to play. I wanted to see something different and play in one of the best conferences in the country. I wanted to play to the best of my ability and see the best competition I could."
ITAT: Playing early was obviously one of the things you looked at when choosing Auburn. How exciting is it to know you'll have a chance to make an impact early?
Tella: "That's probably one of the biggest things for me is just to help Auburn baseball and help my teammates this year. We want to have a winning season and come together and play good baseball."
ITAT: College baseball has always been known as an offensive game, but this year's team is going to play a lot of small ball. That should really play into this team's strengths don't you think?
Tella: "It's a lot of gap-to-gap and doubles and triples. We'll have some long balls I think, but small ball and gap-to-gap is what we're going after. I think that suits us very well. Now in college baseball with these bats, that's what most teams are trying to do."
ITAT: What has been the biggest adjustment for you in making the move?
Tella: "Making the move has meant better competition. I'm surrounded by better players with a lot of talent that are pushing me to get to my highest level. All that makes a good team. It's going to turn out to be a good season."
ITAT: For people that haven't seen you play describe yourself.
Tella: "Offensively I think I'm able to see the ball well. I put the ball in play a lot. I think I'm a gap-to-gap hitter. I have some speed and we're going to run a lot. I think he's going to give us the opportunities to get on base and take the next bag to get into scoring position."
ITAT: For someone that can run is that exciting knowing you're going to be able to run and put pressure on the defense?
Tella: "That's the best part of things and it's exciting because if I take a bag there are so many options of where our hitters can put the ball in play to move me around the bags. If I take a bag it gives us a better opportunity to get into scoring position."
Auburn opens the 2012 season this weekend as the Tigers take on Missouri in a three-game series at Plainsman Park. Game times for the weekend are 3 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.