For my latest post, I am bringing back a feature from last season that I enjoyed but have gotten away from this year and that is reaching out to the correspondents. Once again, I pass the keyboard to senior/outfielder Justin Moriarty. Take it away JMo. Ed. Note: The post was written prior to today's 4-3 win v. Augustana.
I have found this to be a reoccurring question among former players, students, faculty and staff when wanting to learn more about the remarkable turn around for our team. How could virtually the same core of guys from an 11-25-1 team a year ago currently be 27-5 and knocking on the door of a conference championship and regional berth? Maybe it was the addition of the Res/Rec building? No, I don’t think that’s it although the Res/Rec building is a fantastic facility to practice in. Maybe it was the addition of Joe Heller to the coaching staff? No, I don’t think that’s it either. Joe is a great addition because he brings a player’s perspective to Coach Fitzgerald, but his addition was not the main reason for this turn around.
Apart from the obvious reasons of why we’re doing so well: we catch the ball, hit the ball in timely situations, and have much better pitching this year, there is something else to note. Collectively, our group of young men exhibits a much better understanding of what their roles are on the team and they try and execute those roles to the best of their abilities. It doesn’t matter if you are a main producer in the middle of the lineup or a defensive replacement/pinch runner. The attitude of “I” has changed to “WE” and it has certainly been an amazing thing to observe. Pitchers are not blaming hitters for not scoring enough runs; hitters are not blaming pitchers for not throwing strikes. This team picks each other up like no other team I’ve been apart of and it is extremely fun to watch. The individualist attitude of people no longer affiliated with the program is not missed by any means.I used to wonder how the power teams in the CCIW got to the level of being so good. I have since learned it was just a mental edge those teams had on us. This year we have bought into program philosophies and have had some tremendous leadership. We have a few guys having the season of their lives which is great to see. Going into the last weak of the season everybody is looking up at us wondering So What Has Changed? Let them keep wondering….