Emma Polefko, Contributing Writer
In high school, my yearbook advisor recommended not writing sports articles about “how the team is a family,” because that was cliché, overused and boring. That’s fair enough, but anyone who has ever been on a sports team knows that, while it may be cliché, it’s also true. After being around the baseball players in the classroom, at games or practices and in social settings, I have seen that that’s exactly what the University of Dallas baseball team is: a family.
Nearly every spring weekend, the players travel and play together. Their friendship carries over into the cafeteria — everyone knows that there’s that table of baseball boys. The team has its jokes — gnomes and the gnome king, anyone? The players cheer each other on, admire and inspire each other and hone their skills together.
At the start of any season, an athlete is excited for what is to come. The middle of the season might drag a bit, and he may wonder why he willingly gave up being a “normal college student” to put his body through the insane rigor of hard workouts. But then, one day, he usually wakes up and realizes that there are only a few weeks left in the season and that he doesn’t want it to come to an end.
In the case of the baseball team, this weekend was the last home series, and the players’ last chance to make their dreams of making the conference tournament come true. They had to win.
In their series against Schreiner, game one proved to be the most exciting, with a final score of 15-0. The most notable moment of the game was senior Alex Thornton’s grand slam at the bottom of the sixth inning. During game two, both teams played with accuracy and precision, with UD coming away with a win, 2-1. Unfortunately, Schreiner came away with the win in game three but the Crusaders won the series and positioned themselves for the fourth-place spot in the conference tournament
The weekend was memorable for the team, and it got UD one step closer to achieving its dream of making the tournament. The games were also seniors Mark Carlson and Alex Thornton’s last home games.
In game three of the series against Schreiner, it became clear that the family ties go beyond the current team. There were also family members in the stands cheering their sons on together. The mother of one of the players rose to stand with the baseball alumni as her son went to bat for the last time on his home field, proving just how important this baseball program is to everyone involved.
Baseball for these guys is a way of life. Spring season they eat, sleep and breathe baseball, and it seems they wouldn’t have it any other way. Good luck against Southwestern University this coming week, Crusaders!