Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 21, 2017

Baseball Image

Junior Eric Knepper high-fives teammate. The players believe that their team bonding has made them stronger players.

Baseball Boys Bond; Look Toward Tournament 

Jensen Lassiter 

Although Spring Semester is winding down, the Manchester University baseball team is still rounding the bases.

One important aspect of the team’s dynamic is the relationship between upper and lower classmen. "The most memorable thing is being a part of the team in general,” said first year Nick Rush in an email. "Making new friends and hearing about where they came from, what they have done in the past, and hearing the older guys’ stories from other seasons is something I won’t forget. Hanging out with them during downtime created memories that I’ll remember over playing in games with them. It has impacted the season because we’ve gotten closer as a team that I believe that helped us be better on the field." 

Team bonding helps strengthen the team and allows them to be cohesive both on and off the field. "Hanging out with the team on road trips is what [is] most memorable for me,” said first year Joe Gallatin in an email. “It helps the team bond and brings us together."

The first year students are still attempting to develop their sense of belonging on the team. "The season started off slower than we expected,” Rush said. “We have progressively got-ten better. Our hitting came around, which helped give us more wins."

Another key team activity is goal-building. Most teams lay out goals and expectations for the season, but allowing personal goals to overlap strengthens the core of the team’s values. "I hope for nothing less than a conference championship,” Rush said. “For next season, I personal-ly plan to get quicker, faster and stronger. I also want to increase my baseball IQ, so I’ve been listening to upperclassmen about how they play and adapting it to my style if it helps me.”

Gallatin agreed. "One team goal is making the conference tournament and winning it,” he said. “That goes hand-in-hand with my goals. Having fun is always a goal, too, but having fun while winning is much better." 

With the start of a new season next year, new players will be added to the roster and team cohesion will play another large part in the team success. "Advice I’d give to incoming freshmen is to just have fun and try as hard as you can,” Rush said. “Whether it be on the field or in the classroom, doing everything you can to succeed will always help you, no matter how hard it may be at the time."