Volume 93, Issue x

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Put them in, Coach, Western is ready to play

TSN becomes death match

The rebirth of cricket: the cycle of sporting life

Scrummaging answers from Natascha Wesch

Put them in, Coach, Western is ready to play

By Jeremy Paul
Gazette Writer

Contrary to popular belief, Western does have a baseball team – one which is holding its own without much attention.

Although it may not garner the same recognition as football or hockey, Western's baseball team has quietly become the fifth ranked team in the nation. They are third in their division, behind Brock and McMaster universities, ranked numbers one and two respectively.

Western's baseball team unfortunately, suffers from shortened playing time, since the weather during the school year doesn't truly coincide with the seasonal conditions meant for a baseball season. Another major problem head coach Mike Lumley pointed out is the absence of varsity sport status. However, amidst these problems, Western's baseball team remains a force to be reckoned with.

As the playoffs near, the team has high expectations. Lumley said he believes they have all the necessary tools to go deep into the playoffs and compete with the best teams in the nation. "We're just trying to build up for the playoffs so that we'll peak when the playoffs come around," he said.

"We're up there, but we're not yet fundamentally sound," said Ken McIntyre, third baseman and one of the few three-year veterans on the team. "We're still learning to play through adversity. As we play more and more, it's coming around."

The number one ranked team recognized the threat Western's team posed for the opposition. "Hopefully we'll repeat as champions, but it's a long road ahead with Western and McMaster," said Jeff Lownsbury, Brock's team coach.

McIntyre said few obstacles stand in their way, but the most visible setback is the omission of varsity status. Without it, Western baseball is not really affiliated to the school and lacks the necessary support in becoming well known, he added.

While some schools, such as Brock and McMaster, have embraced their baseball teams and given them varsity status, Western has neglected to follow suit, McIntyre said.

Lumley added while they are not expecting to get the praise and recognition equal to major sports like football and hockey, a little publicity for the team and sport would help. However, the baseball team has only eight home games.

The timing of the games are also a set back, McIntyre said. "Having games Wednesday or Thursday nights, it's not that appealing when students have the option of going to the Ceeps."

Lumley said the addition of a sports manager to the team would be very beneficial in terms of operation. This person, ideally a student, would need to be interested in sports management and would take care of marketing, equipment and uniforms. This would help take some of the load off of the coaching staff, allowing them to devote more of their time to other issues, he said.

As the playoffs rapidly approach, Western looks strong and ready to contend for the elusive national championship. Although they may be in the dark, Western will be forced to notice when these "Boys of Fall" start making some noise.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999