Baseball starts across the ocean

posted in: Sports, Winter | 0

This spring, Pacific’s baseball team looks to strive for greatness under the control of long-time Head Coach Grey Bradley, who has been with Pacific for 18 seasons.

This year, Bradley has arranged for the team to travel to Hawaii for a scheduled six-day stay. During this time  they will take on Hawaii Hilo University and Hawaii Pacific.

The funding for a trip like this is a bit extreme, but with a plan set in place by the coaching staff, the players have managed to raise enough money to make the trip possible through a variety of fundraisers.

Needing to raise roughly $1,200 per head, the players set out to sell oranges, a tradition at Pacific University; tickets to a Comedy Sports performance; running camps for high school students and by selling team apparel. In addition to this, members of the team sat down in the fall and wrote letters to friends and family kindly asking for donations.

All the fundraising goes toward paying for umpires, baseballs, new equipment, field repair, hotel costs, airfare costs, transportation costs as well as food and parking for the team.

After all is said and done, Bradley feels there is still some totaling up to do as far as crunching every last cent, but with the basic budget outlined for the team, he believes they have enough to make it happen.

The team left on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, and will return six days later on Feb. 20.

With so many classes being missed, players are often asked how they will manage to keep up with their classes while on the road.

Senior on the team, Kevin Swartz knows the ropes about getting class taken care of while on the road and traveling with the baseball team.

“We just get what we need from our teachers and usually they understand that we have to miss class,” said Swartz.

He also talked about getting homework done despite busy road trips and the distractions they have to offer.

“Usually we just get it done on the plane or the bus on the way there so we don’t have to think about it later,” he said.

With such a big trip, one would hope that the team will be prepared for the challenge and come out of the bout successful. Bradley believes they will.

“This team has a lot of talent and potential,” he said.

Bradley said, “We actually have two things to focus on; hitting— and team oriented activities.”

Bradley believes that as long as the team can put good wood on the ball this year and can advance runners from scoring position, then there should be no problems. As far as the team-oriented activities go, he said they need to “work together” and “trust each other as a team.”

Trust is a big part about baseball at Pacific and Bradley wants all his players to know it.

As far as practices go, Bradley gives, in his words, “a lot of authority” to the assistant coaches. Bradley oversees the operation and steps in when he feels something needs to be covered more clearly.

With solid hitting and teamwork, the team only has to be worried about pitching. Except that is not an issue.

“We stack up with anyone in conference,” Bradley said referring to his pitching staff.

After producing players like Rob Ditrick, who was pitcher of the conference last season, and two crafty lefties in Jason Sawyer and Chad Fahey, Bradley feels secure in his solid 1-2-3 punch out starters.

Ditrick said, “We have a really good chance of winning conference, so long as we put in the work.”

Ditrick also commented on his performance last year and what he is going to do to further his success, “I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing.” Bradley agreed and is looking forward to seeing his ace back in action this spring.

With high expectations set and a plan for success, Pacific’s baseball team is striving for greatness this season and is looking to make an impression on their opponents when they travel to Hawaii.

Many of the players on the team are looking forward to this because they were raised on the island and this offers them a chance to play in front of their families, something that doesn’t happen often.

Bradley wants to instill the feeling of a tightly knit family amongst his players.

He believes that amidst winning games there is more to baseball than just “Ws.”


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