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The Washington and Jefferson baseball team was created in 1890. The overall record for the team is 812-919-12. The W&J baseball team competes in the Presidents athletic conference along with Bethany, Westminster, Thomas morre, St. Vincent, Grove City, Waynesburg, thiel, and Geneva. The presidents have won the conference championship 8 times. The most recent conference championship was taken by the Presidents in the 2009 season. The presidents beat thiel in two straight games at home to take the trophy. With the victory over thiel in the conference championship game, the baseball team did something that no other team in W&J history has done before, go to regional tournament and play for a chance at a national championship. After winning two games in the regional tournament the presidents had broken the total wins in a season record with 35 wins. In the 2010 season the presidents made history again by becoming the first president’s athletic conference team since 1984 to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA division 111 tournament.
The baseball team is coached by both head coach Jeff Mountain and assistant coach Mark thomcheck. Coach Mountain has an impressive resume after receiving the PAC coach of the year award four times in seven seasons. Prior to coach Mountain arriving at W&J the baseball team had only won 21 games in four seasons. With a 215-126-1 record coach Mountain put the W&J presidents on the radar at a national level.
Coach Thomcheck will be entering the 2011 season as a first year assistant coach.Coach Thomcheck graduated from W&J and played for the presidents helping them win 122 games over four years. Coach Thomcheck hopes to carry over his game experience to coaching experience this year.
The season consists of 40 games not including post season starting with the spring trip to Florida. The presidents play each team in the conference three times and the top four teams in the conference receive a birth to the conference championship tournament.
Although the games begin in March, the season begins in the fall just one week into school. The Presidents have a fall inter-squad season. During the fall there is a Red Black world series which is the highlight of the fall.
The Red Black World Series is a five game series. The seniors on the team are the captains and a draft is held to choose teams. After the teams are chosen and each player is informed of their team, the fun begins. The winner of the Red Black World Series gets bragging rights over their teammates for a whole year and gets exempt from certain activities.
The program has been getting better with recruiting by the coaches and hard work that the team puts in day in and day out. Each player is dedicated to doing their job and playing their role on the team.
Every year the baseball team travels to Florida for their spring trip. Since the trip would take 24 hours both ways the team is flown down. The team rents out four houses that can be considered “mini mansions”. Each house holds ten players and the fourth house is for the coaches. The trip lasts seven days and the team plays eight varsity games. All though this trip sounds like all work, there is a day off for the players to do whatever they choose. The trip is an amazing team bounding experience for everyone.
With forty kids traveling to Florida for spring training games, you would think feeding them would be a challenging task. Before the team leaves each player is given 100 dollars for food. When the team arrives in Florida the first stop is made to Wal-mart to stock up on food for the week. What makes this experience a memorable one is there are specific foods that each house of players is looking for. The hottest item on this day is the chicken patties. This means when the vans stop it’s a foot race between the three fastest players of the three houses to snatch up all the chicken patties in stock. I personally have experienced this race and was successful in gathering twenty bags of chicken patties.
After the week is over every player talks about how fun the trip was with their friends. Ask any baseball player what their favorite part of the season was and they will respond with the Florida trip. Even though the trip takes place during the student’s spring break, there is still two days to spare at home with the players family’s before they have to return to school.
First Person Narrative
Narrative written by Dave Trushel,
based on an interview with Pat Kennedy.
When I began looking for schools to go to as a senior in high school, I was contacted by coach Mountain. He spoke to me a little bit about the baseball program and insisted I should come and take a visit. At this point in m life I was not sure if I would like to play baseball at the college level. I figured I would give the visit a shot and see what the baseball program was all about. A week later I was on campus talking to players and touring the school. It didn’t take long after my visit that I contacted coach Mountain to inform him I wanted to be a part of his team.
Coming to Washington and Jefferson with no friends from high school was a scary thought. Fortunately, I had the advantage most students didn’t, 35 teammates that I would be friends with. With this in mind I was less intimidated. After a week or two went by at school, I had bonded really well with the entire team. I had 35 other guys I could rely on if I needed help.
Now as a senior I have guys looking up to me for help. My favorite part about the baseball experience I had at W&J would be the teammates I had and have now. Some of these guys are my best friends and all of them are my friends. If you decided to play baseball at W&J you won’t regret it.
A narrative written by Dave Trushel,
based on an interview with Eddie Nogay.
I am a freshman this year on the baseball team. Coming to college I was most worried about the roommate situation. Fortunately, for me and all of the other freshman baseball players, I was roomed with another baseball player. This took a lot of pressure off of my shoulders because I knew we had something in common.
By the third week on campus, we had already had a couple days of practice, the upper classmen already made me feel like I was a big part of the team. The upper classmen on the baseball team do a good job making the freshman feel welcome and to let you know they are there if you need help.
Although I have only been on the team for a semester, the Red Black world series is one of my most memorable moments so far at W&J. I liked the competition among teammates and the bragging rights I now have because I was on the winning team.
I am glad I decided to come to W&J and play baseball. I’m looking forward to the next three and half years to meet all the new guys that come in and the expriences I will have.
How To Get Started
If you were not recruited by either Jeff Mountain or Mark Thomcheck, there are open try outs beginning the second week of school. There are fliers around campus to find out specific times and locations. I would recommend sending coach Mountain an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) informing him who you are and that you intend to try out for the baseball team. Request any additional information from coach Mountain about try outs and mandatory meetings. You also can go to the related baseball link below and go to the baseball website. There you can fill out a recruit form and coach Mountain will know you are interested.