The Maroon

The last games are about the seniors

HASANI+GRAYSON
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The last games are about the seniors

HASANI GRAYSON

HASANI GRAYSON

The Maroon

HASANI GRAYSON

The Maroon

The Maroon

HASANI GRAYSON

HASANI GRAYSON

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This upcoming series against Truett-McConnell College is almost completely irrelevant as far as the standings go, but we should all be there.

The Bears are a 4-16 team in conference, have the thirteenth most errors per game in the nation and don’t have a pitcher with more than three wins on their squad. And to make matters worse, their school is in one of the towns that you drive through on your way to a bigger town.

The Wolf Pack, who have had more than their fair share of struggles this season, have proven to be better both on the mound and at the plate and should be able to take at least two games of this three-game series.

But this weekend isn’t about wins and losses. If the Pack handles their business and sweeps the last place team in the SSAC this weekend, Loyola will still find itself on the outside of the conference tournament at the end of the year.

This last home series of the season needs to be all about the seniors who will play their last games at Segnette Field.

Even though watching Loyola baseball has been frustrating over my past three years here, I’ve always thought the way they honor the graduating seniors before their last home doubleheader of the season was pretty cool. The players are brought onto the field before first pitch and some of their career stats and accomplishments are read over the PA system.

It can be easy (and I know how easy it is because I’ve done it more times than I’d like to admit) to scoff while a player who saw limited playing time gets his short list of accomplishments read off to the crowd.

It’s easy to brush off their contribution to the team until you realize that you’re witnessing the end of their career. Baseball, from tee-ball all the way through college baseball has probably been their main activity outside of school. With the season ending in two weeks, these players will take off their Wolf Pack jerseys and may never play highly competitive baseball again.

For the seven seniors Loyola has on the roster this year this may be their best chance to play in a familiar place in front of familiar faces. Because of that, Saturday’s doubleheader will be the most important game of the year for reasons that have nothing to do with the final result.

When I watch the games this weekend, I’m not going to be looking for the Pack to make a small step up in the standings. I want to see players who will never play a Loyola home game get hyped for their last time out. I don’t want see any senior strike out looking. If you’re going to strike, you’d better swing hard in case you hit it.

If you’re a pitcher, now’s the perfect time to invent a pitch up on the mound. Never thrown a knuckleball before? With the last place team in the SSAC in town now’s the perfect time to channel your inner R.A. Dickey and try something new.

The post season is out of reach and the Pack has nothing to lose. This weekend the seniors particular need to play like it and have some fun in these last home games.

Hasani Grayson has been covering baseball as a staff writer for two years for The Maroon.

He can be reached at [email protected]

 

Management senior Bradley Burnet gets signs from the coaching staff in between pitches in a game against Belhaven on March 9. Burnet will be one of seven seniors graduating at the end of the season. (ETEFIA UMANA/STAFF WRITER)

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The last games are about the seniors