Baseball Gears Up for Spring Season

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Empire State Building, NEW YORK— Last spring, the King’s baseball team wasn’t so much a team as it was a club that few knew about and even fewer were a part of.

A lot can change in a year.

This spring, King’s not only has a baseball team but a full team loaded with potential. In addition, the baseball team (as well as other King’s athletic teams) are now members of the National Christian College Athletic Association and the United States Collegiate Athletic Association—a membership that will become official in the beginning of the 2012 academic year.

The team went 1-3 in fall baseball, beating Cooper Union. Now, they’re ready to turn a new page and be a competitive team looking to build from their foundation of young players.

Despite losing four players since the fall semester, Captain Grant Olson believes the team’s improved “in every single area of our game.”

The team recruited players to replace the ones who didn’t return, and during the off season players formulated schedules and workouts to better condition in order to better compete against other collegiate teams.

Although the season opener double header versus Williamson Free was cancelled this weekend, the team is excited to start playing games competitively to chart their progress and their strengths and weaknesses.

Yet no matter how they play, Olson believes that the team’s camaraderie is one of the team’s strongest aspects.

“We’re a really tight group of guys, and we love practicing and playing together,” Olson said.

This year, which is only the second year since formation (and the first spring season with a full team), every player’s contributions make a huge difference. However, some key players to keep an eye on will be the pitchers:

  • #27 Grant Olson (RHP): Fastball, change-up, curveball and slider. (Throws 85-87 MPH.)
  • #11 Jeremiah Gill (RHP): Fastball, change-up, slider. (Throws 83-85 MPH.)
  • #7 Jonathan Lile (RHP): Fastball, change-up, slider. (Throws 79-80 MPH.)

The role of the pitchers is undeniable. They exert a control over the game, controlling who gets on base and subsequently, who scores. Yet the team is still able to hit and hit for power. Last fall, first-year player Tristan Kelley hit the first homerun in King’s baseball history.

The contributions of the first-year players and leadership of upperclassmen will be key factors into deciding the game outcomes. The players have been practicing, and “morale is high.”

Now all the team has to do is get on the field and play some games.

To see the full roster and the spring baseball schedule, check out the Men’s baseball page on the King’s athletics website.

CampusKristen Lee