The Road to Omaha doesn't begin in the spring; coaches already are driving their players toward the College World Series. It's the rise-n-grind that players tweet about; it's the workout pictures that are shared on social media. It's the day-in, day-out work that coaches and players hope will separate their team in June. Before the first pitch in February, NCAA.com is highlighting teams that may reach the Mecca of college baseball: Omaha.

Loyola Marymount Lions
• 2014: 32-24 (17-10 West Coast Conference)
• Head coach: Jason Gill (seventh year)
Lions' team website

1. What can fans expect from this squad in 2015? A talented group both on the mound and on defense. We can run and have guys that can split gaps as well. We should have one of the top defenses in the country with returning Freshmen All-Americans in centerfield (Austin Miller) and at shortstop (David Fletcher). On the mound we have experience and talent with Colin Welmon and Trevor Megill.

2. What is the one thing that this year’s team does best? Defense.

3. Bottom of the ninth, tied game, two outs, winning run on second … which player does this team want to step up to the plate? Sophomore infielder David Fletcher or sophomore outfielder Austin Miller.

4. If this team had one game to win, which pitcher would get the ball? Senior right-hander Colin Welmon.

5. Who are we most likely to see make a "SportsCenter Top 10" play on this squad? David Fletcher or Austin Miller.

6. What does Omaha mean to this team? Right now it's a dream ... but one that is attainable.

-- LMU Head Coach Jason Gill

TOP RETURNING HITTERS
PLAYER AVG. G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI
Austin Miller .374 56 206 46 77 10 3 0 18
David Fletcher .329 56 222 37 73 6 2 0 28
Jimmy Jack .301 49 133 15 40 6 1 4 22
TOP RETURNING PITCHERS
PLAYER ERA W-L SV IP H ER BB K B/AVG.
Colin Welmon 2.37 10-2 0 106.1 89 28 19 58 .232
Trevor Megill* 2.72 3-3 0 43.0 29 13 11 45 .188
Sean Buckle 4.02 2-4 0 53.2 53 24 23 40 .262
*2013 stats