CMU’s Club Baseball team gearing up for 2018 season

There are a couple things we associate with the spring: light rain, pollen allergies, and fresh-cut grass. As the weather gets warmer, something else on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus also begins: club baseball.

Baseball has been a part of Carnegie Mellon for decades, and today it is present as a club sport, competing in Division II of the National Club Baseball Association. Claudio Reilsono has been the coach since 2005.

The club baseball season starts in the beginning of March, and runs through to the beginning of May. The biggest difference between club baseball and NCAA Division III baseball is the time commitment. In the winter, the team practices twice a week in Skibo Gymnasium, and when the weather gets warmer, they practice at a local field outside Pittsburgh. While all members of the team are committed to baseball and are passionate about playing, school comes first.

For John Schuman, a sophomore Statistics and Machine Learning major with an additional major in Logic and Computation, club baseball has given him the opportunity to both continue playing the sport he has been a part of since childhood while still focusing on his academics at Carnegie Mellon.

“I knew I wanted to play baseball in college,” Schuman said in an interview with The Tartan. “I came the summer before college to check [the team] out and meet the team, and watched a game of theirs. They just showed a lot of fight, and showed they really cared.”

The first games of the 2018 season occur over the first weekend spring break, when the team makes the trek down to Florida to play the first four games of the season. The trip gives the team a chance to have fun playing baseball in Florida’s great weather, and to bond as a team.

“Last year, it was the best experience and made all of it worth it,” Schuman said. “It’s a 20-hour drive, like team bonding, but definitely a grind. Hanging out in the dugout with the guys, getting your mind off of school – the fun of it [is] the most important thing. It’s very rewarding.”

Many students who are currently members of the team didn’t know what club sports are, or that Carnegie Mellon has a club baseball team until they got to campus. The team hopes to be more accessible to students who would otherwise be interested in joining the team but do not know about it. Schuman says they are in the process of building a new website.

In addition to having fun playing baseball, Schuman says that the team has allowed him to meet different people brought together by a shared love for the sport.

“I think I’ve learned something from each and every one of [my teammates],” he said. “Everybody is from all different backgrounds and had all different reasons for joining. We just have some really great guys on the team, they make it all worth it.”

The team can be reached through their website on Carnegie Mellon’s Bridge network for those who have questions or are interest in joining.