Team’s season record improves with goals set to making playoffs
After winning the series against Mississippi College Jan. 25-26, the Cru raised their baseball record to 3-6 for the season.
This was a big win for the team since they haven’t overcome the Choctaws since 2003.
“We haven’t beaten Mississippi College the first two years I was here, so those two wins were huge,” junior sport management major and first baseman Seth Lynn said. “For the freshmen, I don’t know that they understood how big those wins were, but for the returners and upperclassmen, we all were ecstatic with them. It certainly made for a fun nine- hour bus ride home.”
With a new head coach, only three returning players from last year and several new faces, the team has been dubbed the New Cru.
“We are different. We don’t have that super star in the line-up like we did last year,” Head Coach Derek Dunaway said referring to Joseph Villegas.
“What we do have is up and down a great team. The one through nine line-up this year is overall the best we’ve ever had. It’s a tough out for anyone pitching against us. They are going to have to battle to get our guys out, whether it be the lead-off guy or the guy in the nine hole.”
Junior marketing major and catcher Chris Joshlin is starting his third season with the Cru. His experience helps with the changes that are happening this season.
“We have a lot of new faces, but we are just trying to make it and trying to forget about previous years. We want to make this a new year since we are a new team.”
Dunaway knows that chemistry is important for the team and to be able to work together from the first game to the last one played.
“It’s a big key to success for any team,” Dunaway said. “If you watch the Super Bowl or College National Championship, after the game, the team that won, they don’t come out and say ‘Yeah, we were better than the other team.’ It’s always that they have worked hard together all year and have trusted each other.”
Lynn agrees with his coach.
“Without teamwork, this team, or any team, wouldn’t be anything.”
Several players are participating in Mustache March, where all of the guys grow a mustache. It’s just one way they are growing together and trying not to let the pressure get to them.
“Baseball is different from a lot of sports. It’s a slow game with a lot of down time, so it’s tough to be hyped up,” Dunaway said. “I tell my guys to be loose, relaxed and focused. If them wearing a mustache and giggling a little bit about it helps them to feel good about themselves and build that team chemistry, then I think it’s great.”
The Cru’s next competition is a series against Hardin-Simmons University that starts on March 11 at 2 p.m. They finish with a double header the following day at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
“We have set pretty lofty goals for our team this year, and we will not quit working hard until we reach them. We aren’t going to be satisfied for making the playoffs again,” Lynn said. “We have all bought in and will find a way to reach our goals no matter who or what tries to stop us.”