Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Club Team Overcomes Growing Pains, Nabs Title

Every year, as the snow melts, the cherry blossoms bloom, and the spring weather returns, it is a reminder to us all that it is baseball season. Men and women of all ages and skill levels dust off their gloves and head out to their local baseball diamond. Whether they play in the major leagues, college or little league, baseball players rejoice at the beginning of spring every year. The Georgetown University club baseball team is no exception. The 35 men that comprise the team don’t play for the money or the glory – but rather for the love of the game.

Georgetown’s club baseball program was founded in 2002 to provide students, other than the varsity baseball players, a chance to enjoy our national pastime on a competitive level. The program started off small, simply looking to gather students with similar interests, and allow them to play the game they love. The first few years, however, proved to be a struggle for the program. Due to the lack of members, money and facilities, it was difficult to get new students to commit to the team.

“When I started playing club baseball my freshman year, we were lucky if nine guys woke up on Sunday morning to go to the baseball game,” senior co-captain Mike Stone said.

Yet, just four years later, the club baseball team is enjoying success that few had ever imagined. This past weekend, the Hoyas took two out of three games from the University of Maryland, , and concluded their regular season with a 13-1 record. Not only was this the first time that the program had won a series against the Terrapins, who are currently the No. 6 club baseball team in the nation, but Georgetown’s 13-1 record was also good enough to win the National Club Baseball Association Division III North championship. It is the first time the Hoyas have won the division, which includes teams such as Maryland, American, Howard, Loyola (Md.) and Mount St. Mary’s. By winning the regular season championship, the team qualified for regionals, also a first for the program.

Although Georgetown club baseball is enjoying unprecedented success on the field, they still have many hardships off the diamond. As we all know, the Hilltop is very limited in available space. The varsity baseball team does not even have a field on campus, so neither does the club team. They are forced to travel to their “home” games, playing at local public and high school fields. The club team is further limited because the varsity baseball and softball programs do not even allow them to use the batting cages on Kehoe Field. Thus, the team’s three practices per week consist of merely fielding practice, and no live batting. That is what makes the team’s success so remarkable.

The only live pitching they see is during games, which Stone says, “puts us at a disadvantage against our opponents.”

The program has countered these disadvantages by getting very competitive players to join the team. Whereas it was a struggle just to get nine players to play during his freshman year, Stone says that is no longer a problem.

“We have about 35 guys on the team this year and had to turn more away due to NCBA’s limit on roster size,” he said. “Everyone on the team played competitive high school baseball and some were even recruited to play at other Division I and III schools, but chose Georgetown because of the academics.”

Senior co-captains Stone and Mike Jiwani have been instrumental in the program’s success this season. They double as team coaches, making them responsible for things such as organizing practices, managing the travel roster and setting the lineups. In addition to Stone and Jiwani, the rest of their senior class has been at the heart of turning the program around.

“Our freshman year we finished the season 0-9, and winning the division shows firsthand the dedication of this senior class and how much we have built this team up to where it is now,” Stone said. “Hopefully making it to regionals will lead to more interest in the program next year so that this season wasn’t just a fluke in club baseball. We have a good group of young players who will continue to dominate next year.”

The Hoyas are looking to take home their first ever regional championship in the four-team field that also includes William and Mary, Longwood and Virginia Commonwealth. Their journey beings tonight in Bowie, Md., at 5:30 p.m. at Bowie Baysox Stadium. The competition will continue tomorrow at Joe Cannon Stadium in Hanover, Md.

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