FGCU baseball club begins fourth year
For the members of the FGCU baseball club, baseball has always been an important part of their lives. Coming into college however, focusing on school was top priority. But for these students, baseball was not something they wanted to give up. So what did they do? They started the first ever baseball club at FGCU.
The club got its start three years ago when previous club president, Brandon Weber, contacted FGCU students he played baseball with in high school. The team had only twelve players in their first season, most coming from the same hometown.
“My freshman year Brandon Weber, our old president, reached out to players that he played with in high school,” said the club’s president Steven D’Eliseo. “He was just looking to put together something to play since the actual [varsity baseball] team didn’t offer any walk on tryouts.”
Going into the 2016 season, the baseball club has almost doubled the number of members since 2013. The club now has a total of 21 players on their travel roster, as well as two coaches.
Although the club competes competitively, they like to keep a more relaxed atmosphere where they can have fun while enjoying the game of baseball.
“Everyone sees it as more of a relaxed atmosphere even though it is still very competitive,” sophomore co-captain Adam Gage stated on what makes the club team different that the varsity FGCU baseball team. “It’s just a little more relaxed, a little more fun, but still has that competitive edge to it.”
Despite having an undefeated season in 2015, the club suffered two tough losses in regional play to end their season.
“They went 15-0 last season and then went 0-2 in regionals. So know a lot of these guys have a bad taste in their mouths,” head coach and FGCU alumni Frank Danis said “I can see us definitely competing again and winning the Division III South Region.”
The club competes in Division III of the National Club Baseball Association. During the season they play series against other college club teams, each series consisting of three games. In the 2016 season, the team will be playing a total of eight series, competing against the likes of UF, USF St. Pete, and Coastal Georgia.
The 2016 season for the club will begin on Saturday, Feb. 20, where the team will take on the University of Miami. The series will be played in at the Eagles’ home field at Eagle Lakes Community Park in Naples.