The Club Baseball team started their season with three road matches against Missouri State. They played the first game Saturday, Feb. 2 and won (2-1). The second game was also Saturday, Feb. 2 and won that match as well (14-1). The third and final game of the weekend was Sunday, Feb. 3 and the club lost (4-5).
Club president and coach Dennis (Drew) Roy believes the club has been successful within the National Club Baseball Association (NCBA). The club competes in the NCBA Division II in the Great American South conference.
“We are a very competitive club,” Roy said. “We have been a very successful team within the NCBA, finishing with a winning record every year prior and (we) have made the postseason twice. Last season, we lost in the NCBA DII National Championship Game. This season our goal is to return to the World Series, which coincidentally is held here in Pittsburg.”
Roy saw the loss of the third game on Sunday as an opportunity to grow.
“So, on Saturday we won game one 2-1 and game two 14-1,” Roy said. “We came out a little slow, but it was the first game of the year (and our) first time getting back on the field. Overall, I think we had a good day on Saturday. Sunday we came out a little sluggish and probably lost one we should not have, but it was a learning experience; we have some young guys…”
Club sports do not get much attention, but Roy encourages students at Pittsburg State to attend a game.
“Overall, I thought we had a nice crowd there and it is nice to have people in the stands, but I think it would be cool if we had more students come out to the game,” Roy said. “Obviously, we are just a club team and we understand that, but it is still a fun environment to have when we have a big crowd there.”
Club Baseball was voted number one in the nation in the 2019 DII Rawlings Sports Preseason Top 20 Poll that was released Thursday, Jan. 31. The NCBA took the poll, which was sponsored by Rawlings Sports. Club Baseball was the Champ & World Series Runner-Up last season.
This is a big accomplishment for Club Baseball, and according to Roy the club recognizes that.
“It is definitely very cool; it goes to show how much work has been put into our program over the past four years,” Roy said. “The founders… did a fantastic job of getting this thing started. Obviously, our work is not done… We will at least get it for the first couple of weeks and it is nice to have. It definitely put the target on our backs for sure. We got Missouri State’s best shot there and they stole one from us this weekend. It is definitely a great accomplishment.”
Roy hopes to prove this ranking throughout the rest of the Club Baseball season.
“Everybody is excited about it, but we know that ultimately rankings mean nothing if you do not back it up on the field,” Roy said. “… We all want to make sure we get work in, play well, and prove that ranking.”
Roy wants to see the members of the club continue enjoying their playing time.
“I just want to see a bunch of guys play together and continuing to enjoy the game we love,” Roy said. “That is the whole reason we are playing in this. Every guy on the team is playing to play. So, this is just playing for the love of the game at this point and that is just what I want to see…then ultimately we want to get back to a national championship game, which is played on our home field at Jaycee Ball Park.”
Club Baseball’s next game is Saturday, Feb. 9 at Jaycee Ball Park. Game one is set to start at 12 p.m. and game two will be begin at 2 p.m..