RWU Baseball looks to make dog piles this year: It’s either championship or bust

It’s officially that time of year again: baseball season. The RWU Men’s Baseball Team has already stepped out onto the diamond in a double header against Rutgers-Newark on Feb. 22, coming out 1-1.

Head Coach Jason Tower said Saturday’s games went well.
“For the first time out on a real field, I thought we played really good defense and our lineup was swinging the bat well,” Tower said. “The pitching staff did a good job battling through some tough innings and kept us in it all day. Definitely some things to work on but overall I’m pretty happy with where we’re at.”
Before heading to the sunshine state for spring break, the team will be facing New York University on Sunday, March 1. Looking to make it out on top by the end of the season, the team has been preparing all fall and winter long. 

“We have been grinding day in day out, whether it’s in the weight room, batting cages, or our pitchers in their bullpens,” said senior infielder Danny Roth. 

The team was not able to make it outside as they prepared for the season, which can become an issue for most teams as they take on the field for the first game.

“It can be tough practicing in the gym all winter. However, this group has done an excellent job [of] getting the most out of every practice and every drill to prepare for the spring,” said senior outfielder Justin Stone.

Team chemistry can play a large factor in the outcome of the season, but both seniors agree the player bond has been strong so far.

“Our team chemistry is arguably the best it has ever been in my four years here,” Roth said. “We are a tight-knit group of guys who get along very well. I think as the season goes on our chemistry will only get better.” 

The team has 11 freshmen this year and the upperclassmen have been doing their best at taking them under their wings. 
“We have an awesome senior class and I’m really looking forward to watching them lead this team,” Tower said. “They all care so much about the program and have been bought into turning it around since they arrived here as freshmen. They’re a loyal group, they’re tough, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch them lead this season.”
Core values are a large part of the players’ motivation to keep their heads in the game. Some of these values include gratitude, selflessness and discipline. It is important for them to bring these key components on and off the field.
“This is a team that not only emphasizes hard work and success, but also giving back to the community and being grateful,” Stone said.
As motivation for this season, the Hawks look back at their defeat against Salve Regina in the 2019 season during the CCC Championship. RWU had already clinched one win against the Seahawks and needed one more win in order to take home the trophy. The Hawks ended up losing 14-4 in the first game of the double header and 5-1 in the second.
“Losing that game on our home field and watching their team dog pile on our field as we [said] goodbye to our seniors and best friends is a feeling that I will never forget,” Stone said. “This is something that I will think about all season to keep me and our team working as hard as possible, so that it can be us who dog piles this year.”