Correction appended: This article misstated the record of last year’s club baseball team as 12-3. The team finished 3-12.
The varsity baseball team kicked off its conference season this past weekend when it took on Northwestern. But it’s not the only baseball team on campus looking to compete successfully in its conference.
The Michigan club baseball team also prepared itself for the Great Lakes North Conference. Next weekend, it battles Michigan State in Ann Arbor. The game is important for gaining a top position in the conference standings.
Senior Trevor Scott has come a long way from playing for a consistently top-10 program at Novi High School to finding his role on the club baseball team.
When Scott randomly met Chris Joseph, Gabe Kloet and Matt Ransweiler at Michigan, he never would have guessed he would soon collaborate with them to create a club baseball program. Joseph graduated last year, but Kloet and Ransweiler remain on the roster with Scott.
Scott explained they founded a club team because of the lack of other options to pursue baseball at the collegiate level. They were unable to compete at the varsity level an didn’t want to play intramural softball.
Players join the team for various reasons. Some want to play in college but are unable. Others train with the hope of playing on the varsity in the future. Some just to have fun playing the sport they love.
“A lot of guys use club as a way to train before trying out for varsity,” Scott said. “Others are from the varsity but left because they weren’t receiving the playing time they desired. Winning is always more fun, but the goal of most guys is just to have fun.”
As one of the co-founders, Scott took on more responsibility than the average player, acting as pitcher, coach and club president.
The team began their second season 2-1 after finishing last season 3-12. Last year was primarily a year for the team to develop.
“I think the team has good chemistry this year,” Scott said. “It is a lot of fun just being out there with the guys and hanging out on the bench together.”
Last season, the team had more experience, but this year’s team has more skill.
More than 100 players tried out but just 27 made the team. The club recruited from a much larger pool of skilled players than their first season. By advertising with banners at festivals and at the club sports forums, as well as by word of mouth, the team attracted a lot of quality and passionate players to the program.
“We definitely have a good chance of winning (the) conference this year,” Scott said.
In order to advance to region play, the team must maintain a high standing as it competes against mostly Michigan schools, like Michigan State and Western Michigan. It plays each team in the conference three times, and if it is ranked high enough, it advances to regions. If successful in regional play, the team can advance to nationals.
“Sure, we want to win the conference . but ultimately we just want to have fun,” Scott said.
So, as the saying goes, “Sometimes it is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.”
With this in mind, the team looks to win the conference, but only as a bonus to the fun it has just playing the game they love.