Seniors in the ISU baseball club have witnessed the team’s attitude transition from nonchalant to competitive.
Since joining the club, seniors have built friendships, experienced a no-hitter from one of their own and contributed to the shift from losing seasons to winning seasons.
Ethan Schroeder, club president and fifth-year senior, has played a key role in this transformation. In his first three years with the club, the team never finished a season above .500.
Since taking over as president last season, Schroeder has watched the team not only post winning records in back-to-back seasons but also contend for a bid to regionals this year.
“Through my first three seasons, we never had a winning record until last year,” Schroeder said. “We’ve made great improvement, solid at every position, even with our backups. Anybody on this team could start a game and do just fine.”
Seniors said that the thing they will miss most about playing for the team is the friendships they have built with each other.
“Not only will I miss playing organized and competitive baseball, I will definitely miss seeing all of my teammates on a regular basis,” said senior Spencer Maroo. “These guys have become some of my very closest friends over the past couple of years and it definitely will be hard to say goodbye to that.”
Along with the friendships, the team experienced an unusual no-hitter last season that did not result in a shutout from senior Kyle Martin.
“It was really exciting,” Martin said. “My defense was making great plays for me, helping my back. I actually had a few walks that led to a run.”
Martin said everyone on the team knew about the potential no-hitter during the game, but nobody spoke about it.
“We didn’t talk about the actual no-hitter, but they didn’t leave me alone and I didn’t leave them alone,” Martin said. “We just talked about how the game was going, but in the back of our minds we knew what was going on.”
Once the season officially ends, each senior will go off on separate paths.
Martin plans to return to Iowa State next year as a fifth-year senior, studying to become a physical education teacher. Because of time commitments as a student teacher next spring, he will not be returning to play with the baseball team.
Schroeder plans on searching for a job in mechanical engineering and playing semi-professional baseball this summer with Muscatine.
“[Semi-pro] is competitive; it’s a lot of fun,” Schroeder said. “You get to play a lot of games, and at the end of the summer there’s a state tournament as well, so there’s something to play for.”
This will be Schroeder’s second year playing semi-pro, and he said he hopes to play baseball as long as he can.
Before any of the seniors begin the next chapter in their life, they must wait and see if they get a bid to regionals next week.