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A Look at the Ups and Downs of a College Season

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

The college baseball season is a grind. 50+ games is a lot of baseball, a lot of failure, a lot of success, a lot of highs, and a lot of lows. A lot of high school kids are not ready for that grind. My high school played 20ish games, which I know is a small number compared to schools in the south, but no high school plays the schedule of a college team. You might be saying, "yea we only play 20 games in high school but then we play 40 summer ball games". It's not the same thing. In college baseball every pitch, inning, at-bat, matter more than you can imagine. You cannot understand this feeling until you get to college. In this article I am going to provide a look into the ups and downs of a college baseball season. These are obviously based on my experiences and everyone sees things differently, however this will allow you to get an idea of what the college season will be like.

Opening Day

There is nothing like opening day. You cannot buy the feeling you have when you wake up and go to the field for the first time each season. By this point you've been lifting 4-5 days per week for 6 months with your teammates, possibly come back from summer break early, you've been practicing for 4 of those months seemingly endlessly. All the first and third plays, bunt defenses, intersquads against the same teammates over and over are all about to pay off. Everybody enters the season with high expectations and a high confidence level. Each team is either trying to prove their pre-season rankings right or wrong. Each team starts with the goal of going to Omaha. It is such a beautiful thing. Obviously you want to get off on the right foot both personally and as a team but every year there are teams and players that start out poorly and end near the top so I felt these games carried a lot less pressure and because of that, I enjoyed these games more and played better because I felt less pressure (I had a problem of putting too much pressure on myself). These were always the easiest games for me to just go out a play and forget about the result.

The Ups

There are so many great things that will happen over the course of a season. Big series wins and SWEEPS baby! 🧹🧹🧹Bus rides home after those big wins. Walk-offs and comebacks. Seeing your teammate screaming on the mound after a big strike out. Beating your chest on second after a clutch double. Hitting streaks that make you feel like Barry Bonds. Making game saving plays. Winning streaks, and big saves. The sight of a clutch no doubt home run coming off the bat of one of your teammates and the madness that ensues. There are so many highs during the season and its why we all play the game. The ups are what keep you going during the lows. Those memories stick with you when you are done playing and those thoughts will continue to bring a smile to your face for a long time.

The Lows

For every high in baseball there are many more lows. You are going to strike out or give up a hit in a big situation. You are going to make an error or make a bad pitch. You are going to ground into double plays and make dumb decisions on the bases. You are going to yell at yourself and get yelled at. There will be losing streaks. There will be really bad losses to teams you shouldn't lose to. There will be close losses against really good teams that no one thought you could beat. There will be walk-off losses and mistakes that lose games. There will be slumps that feel like an eternity. Every team and player goes through this and it hurts. Believe me I know how much it hurts. The lows are horrible, gut-wrenching, and painful for everyone individually and as a team at different times throughout the season. Good teams stay together and pull each other through these hard times. Remembering the good times during these lows can keep your spirits and hopes high and help you get through those tough times.

The Constants

Your teammates. Your teammates are always there. From bus rides and hotels to getting fly to the games that are really far away and getting to see the freshman that have never flown freak out for the first time. Blasting music in the locker room after a home win. The team group chat where so many ridiculous things are said. The team parties and dinners and inside jokes. There is nothing in the world like the relationships you form on a college baseball team. I just finished my playing career forever. It is hard. It is so hard. Depression has been real for me. I’m still trying to figure out who I am outside of baseball. What keeps you going is the relationships with your teammates and the memories of all the incredible things you were able to be a part of. If you get the chance to play college baseball, whether you play at the next level or not, consider yourself lucky. Very few people in the world get to be a part of something so special.