For many students, fall marks the beginning of a new school year filled with fresh goals, an updated schedule, and a renewed sense of self (thanks to a summer by the terrace, of course!). But for other students, fall means one thing in particular: baseball.
Since 1999, UW-Madison’s Club Baseball team has grown into two competitive teams, including a Division I, Division II, and a Division III non-travel team. Both Division I and II teams compete in the National Club Baseball Association for regional and national titles each year. And last spring, for the first time since 2014, both teams won their conference and advanced to the regional playoffs in the same year!
To learn more about this year’s team, we sat down with Club President and Division II player, Bobby Ehrlich.
How many players do you have on both club teams?
D-I has a roster of 22 right now. D-II has a roster of 30 guys, and then we have a D-III non-traveling team now that also has 15-20 guys, so in total, the program is a little over 60.
How do people join the team?
We have a pretty extensive tryout process, starting right when we get to school. We have tryouts throughout the month of September for about three weeks. We evaluate players and go through scrimmages, and then they are generally placed on D-I, D-II, or D-III. We cut very few players for the most part.
How has being involved in Club Baseball shaped your badger experience?
[It has been huge] to continue playing baseball at a fairly high level and being able to get that kind of competitive edge out that I definitely would have missed after high school.
Does your team have any seasonal traditions?
We go down to Florida for Spring Training and that’s always a really good time. We’re down there for a full week and we play three of the six days, and then we have two days off. We generally go to the beach one day and to an MLB Spring Training game the next day, which is always a big team bonding experience.
One of the most common themes we find in Sport Clubs here at UW-Madison is a pure love for the game.
Check out the D1 team in action this Saturday, November 4 at Warner Park in Madison. First pitch is scheduled for 2pm. Go Badgers!