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Jhalani Long, sophomore center fielder, prepares to swing his bat towards the ball. Gorilla Baseball Club traveled to Oklahoma State Thursday, Oct. 10. Hannah Meier

Club Baseball opens season, splits games against Arkansas

The Club Baseball team officially opened their 2019 season with two games against Arkansas on Friday, Oct. 4, after the first two games were cancelled due to weather.  

The team lost the first game (9-4) but managed to battle back and win game two (5-1).  

According to club baseball president Drew Roy, the team is focused on improving rather than winning and gaining experience.  

“Overall, not really too concerned with the outcome at this point,” Roy said. “Obviously, we want to win but we are more concerned about getting guys reps. We were changing pitches every inning. That’s not a great situation to be in for a pitcher, you don’t get guys settled, don’t let them get in groups because you’re making moves on them so much. We’re changing positions, working guys on other positions, as well, on the field… Part of it is we were playing more for reps and experience than actually straight up trying to win.”  

Roy was proud of the team for making a comeback and winning game two, despite losing the first match and getting off to a rocky start.  

“I thought that, as a group, we rebounded well in the second game,” Roy said. “We kind of had a little mental mistakes in the first one that kind of let it get away from us and (we) just kind of bounced back in the second one. (We) stayed within our self, everybody kind of found a role more, and just kind of did it. I felt like kind of in the first game maybe guys were trying to do too much and part of that (is that) it’s just early.”  

Roy says that the team needs to ultimately gain more experience and continue enhancing their skills.  

“(I hope to see) just improvement overall, playing smarter, getting guys comfortable, staying upbeat and being into the game, getting everybody in it mentally.., and just overall making sure we’re improving,” Roy said. “That’s the biggest thing right now.”  

Last season, the club baseball team won the Division-II World Series against the Air Force Falcons (7-0) in May. They were named the 2019 Division-II National Champions and ended their season with a 22-9 overall record. Beginning this new season, with many new club members, Roy hopes to see the team continue playing “smart baseball” and continue improving every day.  

“… Obviously, we want to get games but the results in the fall right now really aren’t overall that important,” Roy said. “As long as we’re staying competitive, playing good baseball, we’re not too concerned with the final score right now. One we get to Dallas, our Woodwars tournament in November, we will be trying to win that and that is… kind of our benchmark of where we feel we are as a team heading into the spring. We feel like we reloaded coming off the national championship and we’re excited about the challenge that Division I has for us.”

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