Fall into baseball

"This is our season," said co-captain and junior broadcast journalism major Drew Sumner. "This is make or break time for us.,”Members of the men's baseball team said they are excited about the upcoming season of fall baseball, despite going into their third semester as a club team.

"This is our season," said co-captain and junior broadcast journalism major Drew Sumner. "This is make or break time for us."

If Emerson does make the postseason, Sumner said there will be a chance the school will give them back what they wanted since their poor season two years ago: varsity status.

"Everyone's excited," said junior marketing communications major and co-captain Lucas Einstein. "We all know this is a real opportunity for us."

After falling to a club sport following a 1-28 record two seasons ago, the Emerson College club baseball team is trying to work its way up to varsity status again.

Head Coach David Hanley said he is pleased with the dedication he has seen so far in his second season with the team.

"These kids are working extremely hard to get to that level," Hanley said. "It is hard for them coming back when they have lost a game."

Most of the juniors on the team, including junior broadcast journalism major Glenn Hyatt, said they were upset when they heard they would be a club team for the 2004 academic year.

"I was disappointed," Hyatt said. "I knew we had a poor season [but] it wasn't all the players' fault. [Former Baseball Coach Mitch Lebowitz] didn't show up sometimes."

Sumner said the players who were coming to Emerson expected a varsity program and not a club team.

"We were dropped to club sport with one of the best incoming classes and no one knew," Sumner said. "Those guys thought they would be entering a varsity program, but they were not."

Hanley said the players who joined the team the year it lost varsity status have stuck around.

"For them, it's important to make it back to varsity," he said.

Hyatt said it's more difficult for a club sport to recruit new players than it is for a Division III team.

Yet, others said playing as a club team has not been a negative experience. The members have taken the sport as seriously as if it was a varsity sport to see that in the future, it becomes one again. The fall season is a chance for the players to step up to the plate, Sumner said.

"We are a club sport with every intention of going varsity," Einstein said. "We take it very seriously."

Hanley said he has the support of the administration and hopes to return to varsity with a much improved team.

In order for the team to regain varsity status, they have to win and prove to the Athletic Department they can be a competitive program, Sumner said.

"It's not up to us," he said. "We have to win and show the AD [Athletic Department] that we can play competitive baseball."

Hanley sees no problem making it back into varsity level. He said he has seen maturity in the older players, which has improved the overall attitude of the team.

"Co-captains Lucas Einstein and Drew Sumner provide a lot of leadership and the sophomore class provides as much leadership," Hanley said. "They want to win."

Because most of the team has played together at the club level, they know each other and have been compatible as teammates and friends, Sumner said.

"Hitting is one of our strengths," he said. "[We] also band together and [have] good chemistry."

The team's record is 2-5 and in order to make the playoffs, the team has to win the remainder of their five games or their season will end Oct. 9.

"We have some flaws we need to work out," Sumner said. "As the season wears on, we want to be sharper at the plate and in the field."

If the baseball team returns to the varsity level, Sumner said he feels Emerson baseball can be one of the better squads at the school.

"If we regain our varsity status and stay healthy," he said, "I think we will be one of the more competitive teams on Emerson fields next year."