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GW Club Baseball looks to continue undefeated fall season with No. 1 rank

Jordyn Bailer | Assistant Photo Editor
The club team’s captains plan game logistics while leading practices due to a lack of resources distributed to club teams, leaving them without a coaching staff.

Updated: Feb. 27, 2023 at 6:22 p.m.

Heading into the spring season, GW Club Baseball is gearing up to take the field as one of the highest-ranked teams in Division III with a 6-0 record during the fall semester without a coaching staff or baseball facilities.

The River Horses are currently ranked No. 1 in the National Club Baseball DIII with 48 points, beating out Atlantic 10 Conference rivals Duquesne and George Mason universities in the winter preseason poll. The club team is led by team captains senior Brandon Lee, junior Noah Chin and senior Drew Dorsey who plan game logistics while leading the team’s practices due to a lack of resources distributed to club teams, leaving them without a coaching staff.

Lee said players take control over their own routines with a “choose your own adventure” format where each player can concentrate on their personal areas of improvement to balance fun with high performance.

“So I think with club baseball, it’s just kind of a breath of fresh air to all of these baseball players who want to play baseball but don’t want coaches breathing down our backs and yelling at us to do the things that we already know that we need to do,” Lee said.

The club has been practicing once a week at The St. James facility in Springfield, Virginia every Tuesday at 9 p.m. with other club sports, where they focus on the basics like swings, grounders and pitching while also playing impromptu touch football games to continue developing team chemistry and performance during the offseason.

Lee said the team struggled with pitching in the fall slate since the team has been lacking pitchers in the past years and placed “random” players on the mound to throw pitches. He said this year the team was able to build a “true” pitching staff due to newer players showing an interest in just pitching for the remainder of the season.

Lee said the past year has been a rebranding for the team with new faces and a rise in interest for the club, leading to 35 students trying out for 18 spots that were filled out mostly by first years.

Chin said new players outnumber returning players, but returners are very dependable with consistent playing time and eagerness for the season’s second leg. He said the captains have also created a more organized system for selecting the starting lineup and preparing for games by having players over the night before and air-playing the starting lineup for all the players to see while listening to music.

Chin said the team’s games are different from what you would expect at an MLB game as the players let their personalities shine, with senior Joseph Jeon finding a new way to deliver a pitch every single game.

[gwh_image id=”1181618″ credit=”Jordyn Bailer | Assistant Photo Editor” align=”none” size=”embedded-img”][/gwh_image]

Chin said one of the biggest challenges the baseball club has faced is GW’s lack of baseball facilities since they cannot access the baseball field used by the varsity team. He said the club team has to be really creative with the amount of room they have by moving practices by the monuments and the Vern softball fields when the weather is nicer.

“Coaching-wise, on the field, it varies,” Chin said. “We had one of our players, he’s a senior as well, he’s been coaching because he’s been injured, but he’s gonna get back on the field this upcoming set of games though, but it’s really just all on us in our own baseball knowledge.”

Dorsey said captains have started meeting up after each game to figure out the games’ logistics, especially with the three-game series to try and figure out the best ways to play it and start lining up rosters instead of constructing it on the fly. He said this new method contributed to the team’s success by allowing for better planning.

Dorsey said the preseason poll stirred conversation in the club’s group chat as the team did not know that club baseball had rankings. He said it was cool to see the team in a top rank after their dominant season in the fall, where they won all of their six games and were very productive with scoring runs.

“I think that’s part of when it goes back to tryouts, we want to take kids on the team who are gonna be committed to the team, like want to be there,” Chin said. “And then there’s not much, if any, pressure from us to come to practice every day, we want the kids who are going to show up and actually want to be there.”

George Washington will return to action against arch-rival George Mason in a third-game series March 25 and 26 and will play a total of 18 games in March and April.

“I feel like when the weather starts getting nicer, it is a really good time to come out and watch,” Dorsey said. “We put on a pretty interesting product, I think we have some characters on the team, and anyone who’s come to watch the game has had a fun time.”

This post has been updated to correct the following:
The Hatchet misspelled Joseph Jeon’s last name. The Hatchet also misspelled Lee’s last name in one sentence due to an editing error. The correct spellings of the names are now reflected. We regret these errors.

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