Although the season may not be going exactly as hoped, the St. Ambrose University men’s baseball team still has tremendous hope for the s season.
As Head Coach Jim Callahan works through his 16th season here at Ambrose, he knows the second half of the season could be a struggle, but also believes in his team to come back and be a contender in the conference.
“We still have 13 games left in conference, and there really isn’t a lot separating us from the other teams,” Callahan stated. “We have the talent to compete with the rest of the teams in the conference.”
The men’s team started back in August with “Fall Ball,” working extremely hard to get ready for the season, and then got a jump start to the beginning of the season as they played a week of games in Florida over spring break. Callahan and his players love going down to Florida to play because it is always definite playing time.
“Going to Florida does what it needs to do,” Callahan said. “For us, it is guaranteed baseball. We know the weather is going to be nice enough to play, unlike the predictable weather here. We have already lost six games to weather. The team is also able to grow together. We spend an entire week living together and getting to know one another. It’s a really good bonding experience.”
Junior catcher Scott Blanchette always enjoys the opportunity to play in Florida because of the competition there.
“I really enjoyed getting the chance to play against a national minor league team, and just getting to play in a professional baseball setting,” Blanchette said.
With a current record of 6-17, things are improving and changing on a daily basis. Callahan thinks people are constantly stepping up.
“You know, when you’re not having a great year, it becomes evident to a coach when players really want to contribute, even though you might not be winning every game,” Callahan said.
With this season, Callahan is really looking to his upperclassmen, and seniors in particular, mainly because their season is coming to a close and he just wants them to be able to play as long as they possibly can.
“We still have that chance to make a run at the conference championship. If we work hard enough, I think we could get there,” Blanchette said.
This year’s team has a lot of new recruits who came in from different colleges. Callahan has been pleased with the group he has recruited for the year. Sophomore transfer Mac Coffee has enjoyed his transfer into the St. Ambrose baseball program.
“Coming into the team, it was hard at first because I was so used to how things were run at my old college, but the transition process has been smooth, and the team is great to work with,” Coffee said.