With the Oklahoma Christian University baseball season over halfway done, players and coaches are keeping their fingers crossed for a bid to the conference tournament. Their overall record stands at 13-24-1 with a conference record of 5-21.
Being the first baseball team at Oklahoma Christian in over seven years, the team knew that this year would be a growing process, and indeed that is exactly what it has been. The team's youth and inexperience has proven to be one of the biggest struggles for the team, but it should pay off big in years to come.
"I have chosen the route of recruiting freshmen for the majority of our squad with a few junior college and four year school transfers mixed in to help us with the growing up process," baseball coach Chuck White said. "The competitor in me wishes that we could boast of a better record, but being so young of a team poses some maturity issues for us first as a coaching staff and second as a team."
The lack of experience that the team has been working through has contributed to some of the ups and downs that are expected of a young team. However, the players are excited and willing to work past that and grow as a team.
"With a team full of freshman, it is hard sometimes to stop playing like a team full of freshman and instead play like a good college team," junior pitcher Tyler Sutton said. "This has caused players to be forced to grow up and we have had players accept that challenge."
With each new game and each practice, the players on the team are learning from each other and are working to make the end of the season a winning one, as well as help the team in years to come.
"Being so young of a team is an obstacle early, but we are confident that it is going to help us in the long run," freshman Quaid Johns said. "Next season, and in the years to come, we are going to know each other's strengths and weaknesses and are going to be able to use that to having winning seasons."
Although there have been struggles, players are not focusing on them. Instead they focus on the positives to help improve for the rest of the season.
"We do have a lot of things to work on," freshman infielder Jordan Price said. "But we have a very athletic group of guys who are truly talented baseball players with amazing skills."
Coaches are also focusing on the positives of the season.
"It is not time to focus on the negative, but to look to the future, be positive, be patient, work hard and preserver through the tough times and ask God to continue to bless us in the future, as he has done since the announcement of baseball was first made," White said.
Although the team currently sits in ninth place in the Sooner Athletic Conference, there is still a chance for the team to make it to the conference tournament. With consecutive wins for the rest of the season, this would happen for the program.
"We are not out of the conference picture," Sutton said. "We would like to finish the rest of the season with a good note and leave a good taste in the people's mouth for next year."
Although the season has not gone exactly how coaches would have liked, they are still proud of their players and are thankful to the people who have supported them as the team was brought back, and during this season.
"We are truly blessed to have so many people who have sought to support us in so many ways," White said.
The Eagle's last home doubleheader will be next Saturday against Rogers State University. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. Next Thursday the Eagles will travel to Claremore, Okla. to take on Rogers State at 3 p.m.