The ISU club baseball team will host the first Cap Timm Classic on Sept. 20, which marks the first time the club has ever played competitively in the fall.
The tournament will be at Cap Timm Field and will consist of four baseball clubs from the Midwest: Kansas State University, Illinois State University, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and, of course, Iowa State. In a round-robin style setup, each team will have an opportunity to face each of the other three teams with the top two clubs facing off in the championship Sept. 21.
In the past, the Cyclones have only participated in an inter-club league in the fall, not beginning games against other schools until Spring Break.
"This is the first time we've played in the fall as a spring team," said club president Elliott Frey. "When I was elected president, my biggest idea was we need to be playing more games than just twelve games in the spring."
In order to generate more competitive play and to boost the team's resume for regionals, Frey and the baseball club began to fabricate an idea for this unusual tournament in the fall.
"My idea was, 'Let's start a tradition that will be really fun and something that is unique,'" Frey said. "Not a lot of club teams will host a tournament."
Although only one of the other clubs in tournament is from the Big 12, the level of play will be anything but subpar. Both Illinois State and UW-Whitewater have put forth high-quality baseball in the past few years.
"UW-Whitewater's NCAA team just won the Division III National Championship this past year," said vice president Erik Rasmussen. "There's a strong baseball tradition in that town, and I'm assuming that resonates to their club team, as well."
In addition, Kansas State's NCAA Division I team finished atop the Big 12 standings in 2013 and has closely competed for the title in other previous years.
The ISU baseball club, being the only baseball team representing Iowa State after the university had to cut funding to the team in 2001, has a squad that is ready to compete this weekend. The 22-man roster will be filled by returning players from last season's spring team, which includes Frey behind the plate and Rasmussen pitching and in the infield.
"This weekend is our showcase of the progress we've made as a club these past couple years," Frey said. "We're going to play competitive teams that will give us a run for our money."
The Cap Timm Classic will surely provide not only the fans with intriguing matchups on the diamond, but it will also give the leaders on the team an opportunity to evaluate the players for the upcoming spring season.
"This fall tournament should give the guys who are making the lineup [for the spring team] an idea for which players can perform in what spots," Rasmussen said.
In any case, the stage has been set for the tournament. The Cyclones' football team has the weekend to rest, temperatures are scheduled to rise and three competitive baseball clubs are making their way to Ames to participate in the first Cap Timm Classic.
"It's baseball," Frey said. "Who doesn't want to come watch baseball?"
The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 20 at the Southwest Athletic Complex.