Baseball team brings a spark to 2016


Courtesy of Father Ted Dziak

The baseball team huddles after a midday practice at Miracle League Field. In spite of playing through a series of injuries last season, the team is looking to bounce back with a handful of recruits and much needed energy for the 2016 Spring season.

Nick Ducote

This season, the Loyola baseball team looks to cash in on the past three years of recruiting.

Doug Faust, head coach, and the Pack suffered major injuries throughout last season and were hurting when it came down to the depth of players on the roster. This year’s  team has a larger roster and is expecting competition on the field and in the dugout.

The Pack lost their starting short stop for the year last season, and lost two of their pitchers to injuries. The lack of depth and competition on the team made it hard for them to get in the win column at times.

Coach Faust said the team got “exposed” at times due to the predicaments of their strenuous season. The score was close in some games, but they couldn’t win them all.

“Last year a couple guys got hurt, and we had young guys who weren’t ready to step in. The recruiting classes we’ve had for the past three years can give us some depth now. It’s not going to be a drastic blow to the team if someone gets hurt. We also have pretty good players pushing each other to play better, and some good competition at different positions,” Faust said.

This year, Faust recruited eight freshman to the baseball team, and five of them are pitchers. The young pitchers won’t be seeing too much starting time, but will be getting their feet wet throughout the season.

The seniors on this team are seeing what patience from last season has done for them. There’s a different vibe going on in their practices, according to Joel Buhler, English senior. There’s still weeks before the season begins, but he said the team is ready.

“Out of my four years that I’ve been at Loyola, this is the best team we’ve ever had. The pitching is the deepest we’ve ever had. The power and velocity on the ball from even the younger players on this team is great, we’re looking good,”
Buhler said.

The freshman are still getting use to workouts and the speed of the game, but the conditioning is already paying off, especially for Jesse Jordan, economics freshman.

Like any sport at the collegiate level, the younger players have a small window to get prepared for the season.

“I feel like I’ve gotten a lot stronger, and in more baseball shape. I feel a lot more explosive running the bases, I don’t feel winded, and I don’t feel any kinks with my body. It’s not just me, I can sense that the older guys have a good feeling that this is looking like a good year,” Jordan said.