By Bryce Bridgewater ’19| Editor in Chief|
Wabash drops final game, but it’s just a sign of things to come.
At the start of the year, the Wabash baseball program was budding. After head coach Jake Martin’s ’03 took over the program, the team put together a 22-16, 7-10 NCAC record in 2017, missing out on the NCAC tournament. Wabash dreamed of the NCAC Tournament Championship. One year later, that same team was one win away from the Division III College World Series after going 32-17, 10-8 NCAC.
To make it to the NCAA Regionals, Wabash needed to beat #4 College of Wooster twice in the NCAC tournament and #24 Denison University. Wabash only received eight poll ranking points compared to Wooster’s 539 and Denison’s 50. The team wasn’t supposed to win the NCAC tournament, let alone humiliate Wooster and Denison in the tournament.
Wabash was not supposed to win any of the games in the regional after miraculously making it in. Only one other team in Indiana, Franklin College, made the tournament. The team needed to beat previously ranked Marietta College, #14 La Roche College, #25 Adrian College, Ithaca College, and Wooster to make it to the World Series. After dropping game one to Wooster, that team beat Marietta, La Roche, Ithaca, and Adrian. After five hard-fought games, Wabash went 4-2 in this regional after dropping the final game in the championship round of the Mideast Regional.
Carried by seniors Bryan Roberts, Cody Cochran, Jordan Hansen, Bryce Aldridge, Tyler Downing, and Tyler Cooper, Wabash won more games in school history, four years after these seniors went 12-26, 4-15 NCAC their freshman year. These senior leaders, along with the team captains, put together the greatest season in school history. But this season was not a fluke; Wabash is no longer a budding program. Wabash is a force to be reckoned with.
Wabash will be perennial winners; Wabash will win NCAC tournaments; Wabash will continue beat ranked teams. Wabash will be ranked one day. Wabash will win a NCAA DIII Championship. Despite falling short this year, the team proved to the country that Wabash Always Fights. Teams were not going to beat Wabash easily. We just witnessed the arrival of a winning program.
To the seniors, thank you for turning around a program that was destined for success. To all the players in the program, thank you for making Wabash proud. We already cannot wait for next year’s incredible run.