The weather is warming up and it is starting to feel like spring. This can only mean one thing: UMHB baseball is back.
As a fan, I am feeling optimistic about this season. Head coach Ben Shipp shares this point of view.
“I am optimistic. I am excited to see what this year’s roster does. Looking at them during practice I can tell they are hungry. They want this season.” Shipp has been impressed by the team’s commitment to practice, great work ethic and determination.
One of the team’s strengths last season was their fielding percentage. Out of the 36 players on last season’s roster, 12 of them had a perfect fielding percentage, and 10 others had a fielding percentage of above .900. When asked how he plans to attain the same success this year, Shipp said, “We had a great season defensively, and a few of the players this year are returners. We felt as if we were lacking at shortstop last year. We had a shortstop last year that left us after 15 games, and this year we have a committed freshman shortstop. We also signed a great defensive freshman first baseman from Round Rock. We have great speed in the outfield, and with the returners, we always hope to see improvement.”
Practice makes perfect. This is a saying that still holds true because practice does produce good results. As Shipp stated, the returners are expected to have a great season defensively. The new players can look up to the strong team leaders who have experience and wisdom to share.
This year’s roster has seen a large number of freshmen joining the team. When asked if he thinks this could be a detriment to the team, he stated, “No, I don’t feel like it does. Most of the freshmen we have joining us this year are pitchers, and that happens sometimes. They are very talented, and I am confident that they can get the job done.”
The Cru kicked off their season on Friday, Feb. 8, in Grand Prairie against the Bulldogs of Texas Lutheran University. Although the team started off strong, earning two runs in the first inning, they were ultimately defeated 9-5.
On Saturday, Feb. 9, the Cru played the Tornados of Concordia University at the same location. It was a tough game for UMHB, and the team ultimately lost 10-1.
This past Sunday, the Cru faced Hendrix College in Grand Prairie. It was a hard-fought battle all the way to the end, but ultimately, Hendrix got the upper hand and defeated the Cru 6-4.
This weekend, the team will face Schreiner University in Kerrville. To keep up with the team, go to cruathletics.com.