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The Scarlet & Black

Baseball looks ahead to new season

Charles Carr ’19 successfully drives the ball down home plate. The Pioneers begin their season on March 9 against Buena Vista University. Contributed photo.

By Papa Kojo Ampim-Darko

The Grinnell College baseball team is looking forward to their upcoming season, and after having two of their games cancelled last weekend due to bad weather, the players are ready to go. 

“I mean, personally, I hate the bad weather games. When we travel and go and you end up not playing, it sucks, but if we go, we go to play and we go with that mentality that we’re going to win,” said Julian Cabrera ’19

That enthusiasm and belief in the team was apparent from Cabrera, who said he is optimistic about the team’s prospects this season. “This baseball season should be really good. We got a few young guys who are looking really solid at this point in the season, which for first years and second years to be stepping up is really impressive. So we as a team and me personally are very excited for the beginning of season, ready to start.”

Harry Barker-Fost ’22 said he was delighted at the level of camaraderie and commitment he has noticed within the team. “We spend a lot of time together outside of games … everyone’s extremely dedicated. The amount of extra work put in outside of our practices is way more than I’ve seen my teammates do in the past, and just how committed everyone is to play baseball. [It] feels like just about everyone is fully committed to really winning and getting better all the time.”

The team will travel to Arizona over spring break, where they’ll be playing some high-quality opposition. Cabrera said he is not worried about their opponents’ abilities, relishing the opportunity to test the team’s strength while spending time with his teammates. “Spring break for Arizona is always an interesting time. It’s always fun to hang out with everyone. It’s always fun to play different teams that we just won’t see and see the talent that different regions of the US hold, so spring break for us is always a good challenge to see kind of where we stand and how to … start off the season hard and be ready to come back and face conference.” 

Barker-Fost felt similarly about the trip. “I’m excited for it. I think … it’s gonna be a long bus ride … but it’ll be fun to just be playing baseball. Having a week where that’s where we are, we’re just together with each other, not taking classes, pretty much full time … playing baseball. I think that’s going to be really, really cool.”

Pioneer baseball has traditionally been highly successful, and is tipped to have another good season this year. The team is ranked second in the South Division conference by opposing coaches. The players are unfazed by this, though, and are ready to take on the challenge as it presents itself. 

“Not a lot of people think we’re going to win because we haven’t been able to get over that hump in the past but hopefully we’ll be able to prove everyone wrong. So it’d be nice in a way to have our projections match what we think we can achieve but I think it’s also good to have this as kind of a challenge to say no one thinks we can do it because we haven’t done it before, but we know that we’re good enough, we know we can,” Barker-Fost said.

The Pioneers begin their season away on March 9 and 10 with games against Buena Vista University.

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