Northwest Student Media

A competitive baseball club is open to all students on campus and according to their president Cal Schillings, it is open to anyone.

"If you want to continue playing baseball without the time commitment of college athletics, we are perfect for you."

This tag line used by Shillings serves as a compelling recruitment phrase to persuade the best non-Bearcat ball players to join the competitive club.

The club plays two seasons including the fall and the spring. They play other club teams ranging from MIAA conference opponents to Division I club teams such as Arkansas and Kansas.

Club baseball provides a team atmosphere for guys with several other activities outside of just their athletics. Many of their players are involved in many ventures on campus. Their roles range from fraternal executive board members, campus ambassadors, resident assistants, student managers and student assistants.

"Off the field we have great guys," Shillings said. "They all do fantastic things in the classroom and out of the classroom."

Although club baseball players have so many activities going on, they are far from apathetic when it comes to the baseball aspect. The team takes weekends out of their spring to travel around the Midwest to take on other highly competitive teams.

"On the field we have several very talented athletes with all different abilities," Shillings said.

This is exemplified by the try-out process for the team, as opposed to letting anyone simply seeking club involvement a roster spot. Since the club started, popularity has grown. More and more students have tried out each year, with only the best of the rest making the cut.

"The try-out process is all of the new guys basically showing us every talent they posses," Shillings said. "We give every position ample opportunity for multiple players to show the coaching staff their skill set."

The fall season this go around was used less as an actual season, and more as a feeling out process with all the fresh faces on the team. The team played in just one four-game series against Truman State. Several other teams were scheduled but cancelled due to conflicts within their organizations.

"Our fall season has been a learning experience," Shillings said. "Those games did not mean anything for our league. We just used them to learn our new guys' abilities."

While the team did not win a single game in the series, it did not diminish the confidence of the team. During game six of the World Series, junior member Jake Hain and freshman member Hunter McNelly assured President Shillings that they were more than capable of performing the same type of infield magic as Cubs' shortstop Addison Russell and second baseman Javier Baez.

Aside from the extreme levels of confidence, Shillings feels that there are many flashes of substance on the field as well.

"We are strong on offense and we have great arm talent throughout our defense," Shillings said.

However, a team that does not produce the results they want will always look to improve. The fall showed the necessity for an improved pitching staff.

Above all, club baseball is a student-run organization that prides themselves on having fun, but being competitive. Though the players do not receive the recognition that the Northwest baseball team receives, the players have found a club that fosters their desires to continue their baseball passion and contribute to a growing club.

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