By ALICEN HACKNEY
This semester the Mary Washington Baseball Team has been hard at work with more games than any previous season and already busy student schedules.
This year the baseball team played 18 non-conference games before their conference games which hasn’t happened in previous years as long as many players can recall. The schedule consists of nearly 40 games, and, considering the games didn’t start until late February, this semester is packed.
“We played 18 non-conference games this year before playing any conference games, which we’ve never done before. It was a lot, but the games become a little more spread out from this point on which is good. I think it will pay off because we have more time to recover in between the big conference games that matter the most!” said junior Kevin France.
Some weeks this semester have had as many as five games with varying locations. These games can be at home, but there have been many games at other campuses and in different destinations. In the middle of the week, players have to make trips to Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, as far south as Danville, and as far north as Maryland.
“We’re told in advance what time practice will usually begin, so we try to schedule all of our classes before then. So this semester was 2 p.m., so our guys get classes before then.” said junior Kevin France. “When we travel and miss classes during the day, we email professors beforehand to let them know (ideally we tell them at the start of the spring semester and get them a complete schedule), and then go to office hours or other class times if needed to get caught up. Most professors are very helpful about working with our schedules, but there have definitely been some issues with missing presentations or other work.”
The rigorous schedule has come with some difficulties. Considering the travel time, game play, and practices making all deadlines and class times can become a real challenge. This has left some having to rely on office hours, reschedule classes and tests, or just take the loss.
“Quite honestly, I’ve struggled recently with my studies due to the amount of class I’ve missed. Sometimes I feel completely disadvantaged in some classes because of the requirements of the time consuming baseball season,” said sophomore Bryce Runey.
All that being said, this extra practice and game time has benefited the team in many ways. Between getting more comfortable playing with each member and getting more time to work out game scenarios before actual conference games, the baseball team is seeing a strong increase in over all skill and proficiency.
“We’ve never played this many games prior to conference games starting, and I think that’ll benefit us tremendously. Baseball is a game of repetition and consistency, so with the extra games, we’ve definitely seen a lot of at bats and had time to gel together which will significantly benefit us when we continue into conference play,” said Runey.
With all the pre-conference games, this season is just revving up. As the season goes on, the boys are hoping to continue to grow close as a team and improve their skills both on the team and in the classroom. To find the baseball teams schedule go to the UMW Athletics website.