Baseball looks team to repeat past

Chris Procacina

Baseball Head Coach Tracy Archuleta and his team are in familiar territory. Currently sitting just outside the top 10 teams in the nation with an No. 11 ranking, the Eagles (36-8) hope to make another run at the National Tournament.

Sophomore catcher Ryan Bertram hopes his team can finish strong and win the conference outright. Despite dropping four of the first six games to start the season against California State University and Grand Valley State University, the Eagles are now playing their best baseball.

The team matched a school record 15 game win streak beating Division I University of Evansville for the first time since 1988 and the first time  in “The Battle at the Braun”.

“(Teams in California) get to practice outside all year round. You never want to make excuses – but you could tell the speed of the game – they were kind of used to it, but we played them tough,” Bertram said. “We came back home and played Grand Valley, who is a nationally ranked team as well, so we played two really tough teams early on, and I think that helped us realize where we need to be.”

The strong record and ranking of the team has brought back memories of the 2010 National Title season.

“I remember watching the National Championship game, and I think the main thing we got to know from the guys on that team is that they loved to compete and loved to win,” Bertram said. “I think that’s something we’ve instilled in ourselves – just wanting to be a team player and do anything to help the team win.”

Archuleta and his team have their focus locked on the upcoming conference games in a hopes of finishing atop the GLVC. Still, he said this year’s team has the intangibles.

“Every team has a little bit different personality, but the one thing that is common with all teams that have been successful is they’re a team – a group of people that get along. There’s good chemistry,” Archuleta said. “That’s probably one of the things that I have noticed that has been very similar to successful teams of the past.”

The team will finish their regular season with fellow GLVC member, University of Indianapolis, Friday and Saturday with back-to-back double headers.