This week, the University of Dallas baseball team played the Trinity Tigers in San Antonio, Texas. The Crusaders did not fare well this past weekend, losing all three games.
Many students at UD fail to understand the importance of “Trinity Week,” as the players call it.
Every aspect of this conference rivalry is competitive, even the dimensions of each school’s respective bell tower. The Braniff Memorial Tower stands taller, while Trinity’s Murchison Tower is wider. However, the rivalry between the teams is rooted deeper than a beef over the dimensions of a tower. Trinity has won the last eight series against the Crusaders, and they are frequently the favorite to win the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC).
Every time the Crusaders play the Tigers, there seems to be a playoff atmosphere, with the games taking on higher stakes than the usual matchups. Senior outfielder Luciano Villanueva, who has faced off against the Tigers for four years now, cherishes the challenge of playing his rival.
“I love playing Trinity,” Villanueva said. “I have played them for the past four years now, and everyone is locked in every time we play them. We played them tough all three games, but couldn’t get a W out of it.”
Villanueva, who is doubling as a pitcher and fielder, pitched five innings and only gave up two earned runs during the third game in addition to playing all three games.
Fellow senior infielder Rene Vargas, Jr. was also disappointed in the lost rivalry game.
“We are so focused every time we play them,” Vargas said. “Practice is tougher during the week leading up to Trinity. To come up short, like this weekend, gives me a really sick feeling. It’s the one team that you really want to beat, and it is a team I want to beat more so than any other.”
Despite the accumulating losses on the season, the team still possesses a surplus of young talent with a potentially bright future. The team’s high turnover rate with freshmen, however, proves to be a yearly challenge in attempting to develop the team for further growth. If these young freshmen can stick together, maybe it will be possible to reverse the slump against the rival Tigers.