By David Parker
This semester, Olivet’s baseball team is ready for new opportunities for success as they prepare to begin their season this month.
“I think we have a chance to be as good as last year,” senior infielder Daniel Hall said.
“Compared to last year, I feel really confident,” senior pitcher Casey Mast said.
The team, which went 33-25 (23-7 in conference play) last season, has set high goals for this year.
“Our goal as a team will be to win conference,” Hall said. “That’s always our goal.”
“We’d like to try to make it to the NAIA World Series,” Mast said. “But it’s been pretty tough to do that.”
After a successful last season, which was highlighted by a trip to the NCCAA World Series, the team is gaining new talent to help them reach their goals.
“We have a lot of freshman coming in,” Mast said. “We only graduated two guys, and a total of three guys left.”
Mast and Hall, along with junior catcher David Mitroff, who were named to the NCCAA North-Central All-Region team last year, are among the team’s strongest returning players.
The coaching staff, led by Todd Reid, has also helped establish confidence in the possibilities for this season.
“[The] coaching staff is good,” Hall said. “Their main goal is the well-being of players and winning, which is what we all want as a team.”
“They know what they’re talking about, and it’s pretty easy to communicate with them,” Mast said.
All of these factors come together to form a team which Hall considers a must-see.
“We’re exciting. We’re fun to watch. We steal a lot of bases,” Hall said.
The team will begin the excitement with a trip to Tennessee to face Bethel University Feb. 17 and 18.
But whatever happens this year, the team will keep in mind the ultimate reason for playing.
“‘One love’ – we all love the game, and we enjoy the game,” Mast said.