Summer break on pause for baseball players
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 02:04
It’s one of the first things a baseball player learns—keep your eye on the ball.
This advice, although somewhat juvenile, proves valuable for the Dixie State College baseball team as the season nears the end.
While most students are busy enjoying the warm temperatures and making summer plans, the DSC sluggers are still hard at work.
The Red Storm still have eight games remaining, all of which are at home, after a 2-2 split with California Baptist University over the weekend. And seven of those games take place either during finals week or after graduation ceremonies officially kick off the summer break.
“This is the first year we’ve had games the week of finals,” said junior second baseman Colton Yack, a communication major from South Jordan. “It’s a little different, but here we’re student athletes. Student (comes) first. We’ve got to remain eligible, so we’ve got to take care of school.”
Yack also said although life can be hectic with everything going on at the end of the season, the players know they have baseball to help them get through.
“You definitely get a little stressed out,” Yack said. “(But) being out here on the field, it’s kind of an escape from everything. It gives us time to just be ourselves for those few hours we are out on the field.”
The Red Storm first play host to the Antelopes of Grand Canyon University in a battle for second place in the Pacific West Conference. The teams will square off four times in three days starting Thursday and ending Saturday.
“Grand Canyon is the next team below us in the standings,” head coach Mike Littlewood said. “They’ve got a great pitching staff, and we want to set the tone against those guys. (We need) to let them know they can’t come into our field and win a series from us. We want a sweep.”
Following the series with GCU, the Red Storm wrap up the regular season on a four-game tilt with nonconference foe California State University, Los Angeles on May 4-6.
And although the Red Storm find themselves on the bubble of not qualifying for the postseason, they know it’s not over until the final out is made against them.
“We know we’re not completely out,” Yack said. “We know out of the eight games we have left we probably have to win seven of those games. Then hopefully a couple of teams within the region drop a couple of games.”
But regardless of whether they make the postseason or not, the Red Storm want to make it a season they can hang their hats on.
“We just want to finish on a strong note going into next season,” Littlewood said. “(It’s) something we can build on and find out some players who can get the job done for us.”