By Myles Goldman
The baseball team will play the first game of their last season in green and gold on Friday, Feb. 15. Instead of forfeiting their season, the baseball team is using their heartbreak due to the campus merge as motivation.
Last season, the Pioneers made it all the way to the East Coast Conference Championship and had a winning percentage well over .500.
Michael Gaffney is ready for this season as it will be his last as head coach.
“My thoughts going into this season are that we have to try to enjoy each other as much as possible; we’re going to try to win as many games as possible and that’s the bottom line,” Gaffney said. “ I really am impressed with the players and the way they push each other and the way they’re not taking the current situation for granted. It’s actually inspiring.”
Junior health science major and first baseman, Zach Fritz talked about the cohesiveness of the team.
“We just stick together and play for each other. Our chemistry is strong right now and that sometimes matters more than talent,” Fritz said.
However, Fritz is still a competitor and wants to win it all, especially this season. “My goal for this season is to win a championship and beat every team that doubts us and thinks that we are packing it in because of the school merge,” he said.
Senior philosophy major, Johnny Dehler, outfielder, will do whatever it takes, even affect his statistics to win it all this year.
“If I strike out 20 times this season and it somehow helps us win a championship, then I want to strike out 20 times. My performance does not matter to me and when I look back at our most impressive season two years ago, I didn’t play much, but I had the most fun, so I am fine replicating that if we can win each game doing it,” Dehler said.
Due to the athletic merger of the LIU Post and LIU Brooklyn teams, some players did have to make the tough decision to walk away from the team, but that isn’t affecting the team’s morale. In fact, since the team isn’t as full, it reinforces the morale of the team.
“These guys could have left mid-year, and we did have a few guys leave mid- year because they did what was best for them,” Gaffney said.
“Everyone that wants to be here is here,” Dehler said. “Everyone that is here is committed to winning the exciting and regional championship. There is zero slacking this year.”
This is an emotional finale for the baseball team; it’s going to be exciting to see what lies ahead this season.
The season opener on Feb. 15 will be in Tampa. F.L. against the University of Tampa. The team’s first home game is on Feb. 28 against the University of New Haven.