Last Saturday, Jan. 30, the Pomona-Pitzer Men’s Baseball team faced off against a squad of former Sagehen players in the annual alumni game. For the players on both sides, the game was less about winning and more about appreciating being a part of the program. This current group of Sagehen players impressed nonetheless, scoring in eight of nine innings and putting 27 runs on the board. The team allowed three to alumni.
After an encouraging start, expectations run high for this team; never mind the youth and lack of experience, both of which captain and first baseman Simon Rosenbaum PO ’16 views as positives. “We're a young team this year and not a ton of guys have a lot of experience, but I think in some ways that makes us a hungrier team,” he said.
Sophomore outfielder Adam Hinthorne PO ’18 agreed, “Every year the goal is to win a SCIAC championship, go to a regional, and then to the Division III world series.”
With a strong core and added depth, the Sagehens have a strong chance of achieving their goals. Outfielder Bryce Rogan PO ’18 and first baseman Cade Hulse PO ’18 are expected to fill spots in the middle of the starting lineup; along with Rosenbaum, who should be near the top of the league in home runs, all individuals will contribute solid hitting.
In addition, returning starter Tanner Nishioka PO ’17 hopes to continue his dominance coming off of an All-Alaska League summer. As for pitching, David Gerics PO ’17 is one of the most well-regarded pitchers in the league.
But Rosenbaum and Hinthorne are not letting the talent go to their heads. “This team is extremely hard-working,” Hinthorne said. “[We have] lifts before and after practice, extra batting practice, you name it. We are looking forward to all the work paying off throughout the spring.”
Rosenbaum added, “We need to be crisper. It comes down to being mentally tough and focusing throughout a whole practice. It’s little things like hitting cutoff men, executing bunts, and not missing signs. But those little things make a big difference in winning and losing close games.”
The Sagehens play their first game on Friday, Feb. 12, against Rhodes College and University of Mary Hardin Baylor at Mary Hardin Baylor’s campus in Central Texas. Their first home game is a doubleheader against rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Rosenbaum, in the final stretch of his college career, is hoping for a special final season. “The simple answer is that I want to win a SCIAC championship. That’s every player’s number one goal for [his career],” he said. “But above that, I want to enjoy my last season of college baseball. 50 years from now, I want to look back and remember how much fun we all had together, how much it meant to compete for each other and know that everyone was competing for the guys beside them.”