The fall semester is in full swing once again at Iowa State University, and for the Iowa State Club baseball team, that means finding something to do to remain on the field in what is predominantly a spring sport.
This weekend, the team will host the fourth annual Cap Timm Classic – the fall semester, four-team tournament hosted in Ames year-after-year.
Though four teams may not seem like a large number, Bobby Thompson, the club president, contacted upwards of 50 schools to participate in the tournament.
“Bobby set this stuff up and put in the time in effort to set this whole thing up,” Vice President Cole Henry said. “I have to give credit where credit is due.”
Between scheduling conflicts, travel time and hotel expenses, it wasn’t meant to be for a majority of teams.
“That’s kind of how it goes when you play club baseball,” Thompson said. “It can be frustrating, but that’s just kind of how it goes.”
Iowa State has ran away with the tournament in the past, winning three championships in a row. Though, this season the team doesn’t want it to be as easy.
Thompson and company wanted to recruit some better competition for the tournament to give the Cyclones a little bit more of a challenge.
“We learned from last year’s tournament that if we want to get better, we need to start facing these better teams,” Thompson said. “That was kind of the goal in mind — to find these better ball clubs.”
Iowa State will welcome South Dakota, Oklahoma State and Iowa this weekend in the round-robin tournament to help the competition factor.
The big addition to raise the level of competition will be the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes spent the entire 2017 spring season ranked in the National Club Baseball Association’s (NCBA) Rawlings Top 20 rankings, and has proved to be a perennial contender in the past.
In fact, the last game this Iowa State team played together, they were downed by the Hawkeyes in the NCBA Midwest Regionals.
“We’re really excited to get back on the field,” Thompson said. “We lost nine seniors last spring, so we’ve got a very young ball club filled with players that want to show why they can play in the spring.”
The team Iowa State puts on the field this weekend will be slated completely with returning players and is kept separate from the fall league tryout event the team puts on.
For fall league, the club will scout 155 players and take six to eight players to add to its team roster.
“It gets pretty competitive,” Henry said. “We get to see a lot of talent come out. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes it’s a heartbreaker for some guys we know are definitely capable of making the team.”
Iowa State will play three games over the weekend with the first being against the Iowa Hawkeyes at 9 a.m. on Saturday.