Kamilah Mirza/The Mainstream
UCC’s newly formed baseball team finds success opening weekend
After a long awaited return, the UCC Baseball team is met with great community support. Opening weekend saw 1,500 fans including alumni from 35 years ago come and cheer the baseball team to a successful 3-1 start to their preseason.
“Community support has been great, we’ve had volunteers for concessions, sold a lot of merchandise and have had families house athletes while the Flegel Center was being finished,” Assistant Athletics Director Whitney Pitalo said.
The two biggest hurdles for the athletics department were housing and returfing the whole stadium. “The host families had to house the student-athletes for several weeks longer than expected and we are very grateful for their support,” Pitalo said. “Many host families attend all the games now, so that has been fun to see come full circle.” The returfing of the stadium was sponsored by various businesses in the community.
The baseball program has been a long process for UCC’s athletics department. Many steps are involved in starting a sports program. First, they have to propose the idea to the board on why they will increase enrollment and sustain the program. Then, they have to let NWAC know so they can rearrange schedules. Next, the new sports have to have classes approved by the academic council for the student-athletes to take. They also have to get housing approved and implemented. Once all the previous steps have been approved, the first year is a sort of pilot program that doesn’t compete until the following year.
Esports and women’s soccer are the newest programs to be approved. Pitalo is currently working to add fall, winter, and spring classes for both programs. UCC sports are growing and bringing in all kinds of talent for the school now, and for years to come.