The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Club baseball gears up for second season

The SMU Club Baseball team returns to the Hilltop for its second season this fall after last year’s demand for a baseball team was brought to the attention of students and the staff.

SMU established its first baseball team in 1916, but the sport was removed during the 1980-81 season because of Title IX rules, calling for an equal number of sports for men and women. Since 1981, several attempts have been made to start an official club team, but none have been successful.

Club advisor and head coach David Hayden was determined to get a baseball team back on campus, and a new club team was organized with the help of senior team manager Kara Maiella. Sixteen students showed up to play last year and helped build what is today the official club baseball team.

One of the players returning to the team is senior Chris Francis.

“We have the leadership and commitment to really take this program to another level,” explained Francis on the new and old faces appearing at practice.

While last year’s team got off to a great start celebrating victories over Texas A&M Commerce, North Texas, Kingwood College and other teams from the Dallas area, tougher competition was found among teams such as Baylor and Texas Tech near the end of the season.

The team is hoping to improve its record this season by adding some new names to the roster. The Mustangs have established their main goals as bringing a competitive team to the National Club Baseball Association this spring and possibly building a Division I team in the near future. “Club Baseball travels and practices a lot in the spring, but these guys also have a blast, meet new people and play a high caliber of baseball,” explained Maiella.

There is the potential of bringing a Division I team to campus, as well as a women’s softball team, if the students can find support, but it is still a work in progress. With this new development, and the help of donations, the baseball team would possibly have the opportunity to share a practice facility with a minor league team from the Dallas area.

The team is still holding open practices and encourages any students interested in trying out for the team to come to practice.

“We are actively seeking talented additions to supplement strong returnees from last year’s team,” explained Maiella. The team holds practices at off-campus locations throughout the week and conditioning at the Dedman Center every day from 5-7 pm.

For specific practice times and locations, visit the team Facebook group “SMU Baseball: Fall ’07 Practice Crew,” or contact Kara Maiella.

“I encourage any SMU student who has played competitive baseball in high school or in other college settings to come check our games and practices out,” said Maiella.

SMU swings into action this Sunday at 10 a.m. with their first preseason game of the season against North Texas.

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