Seton Hall has six official club sports, but by the end of 2017, it might have a seventh. A group of 25 Seton Hall students have joined together to start a club baseball team – and they are looking to make sure that the program is here to stay.
“This is the first real season for club baseball in 160 years at the University,” the club’s president, Brendan Kane, said.
Kane, a sophomore, tried to join the university’s baseball team last year as a freshman. Even though he was cut, Kane still wanted to play baseball at Seton Hall. He found out that there wasn’t a club team, so he decided to create one.
“Last year, it was more paperwork and getting the foundation laid,” Kane said. “This year, we started up playing.”
The current roster mainly consists of underclassmen. The majority are sophomores – 13 from the class of 2019. There are six seniors and two juniors, and the remaining members of the squad are all freshmen.
“We try to get everybody in, every time we play,” Kane said. “That way, everybody has the opportunity.”
The club team plays in the fall and spring, but it is still in the “provisional stage.” The team has to prove that it can actually function to the Athletics Department. If it can show that it can hold its own, it will be officially recognized as a club team at the University.
Once recognized, it will be able to join a league in the National Club Baseball Association. The NCBA is not involved with any athletic conference in the NCAA – it has its own divisions. Kane said that the Seton Hall club team is looking to join Division II in the District I – South conference next year. This division houses the club teams for Adelphi, Fordham, Lafayette, Lehigh, Montclair State and Stevens Tech. Once Seton Hall is a member of that conference, it will be able to participate in the inter-conference playoffs.
For now, Kane said that the focus is to just play whenever the team gets the chance. The team played its games in the fall at Cameron Field Park on South Orange Avenue, but it is playing the bulk of its games on the road in the spring. The club team will potentially play its first “home game” at Ivy Hill Park against Princeton’s club team, another up-and-coming organization.
“Princeton is in a similar situation to us, they’re gaining recognition as a club team,” Kane said. “For the rest of the schedule, I went on the NCBA’s website and emailed everyone I could find in the area.”
The club team has already played a few teams from the District I – South conference, including Stevens Tech. Kane believes that if the club team can make the District I – South conference next season, it can have a legitimate competitive presence.
“It’s good competition, but I feel that if we come together as a team and if everyone thinks a little more, we can easily be a big player in this division,” Kane said. “We can bring Seton Hall some new glory for club baseball.”
Matt Lapolla can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MatthewLapolla.