Club Baseball Steps Up To The Plate

Though a tight-knit community, not every athlete at SUNY New Paltz knows each other.

New Paltz’s club baseball team was founded in the spring of 2010 by student Joe Waterhouse. When Waterhouse was a first-year student, there was no club team available.

“I came in here my freshman year so it took a little work to start up,” Waterhouse said. “We had some practices, but were unable to play games until the following fall.”

Waterhouse said he puts an extensive amount of work into the team scheduling practices, games for the upcoming season and meetings to make sure the team is on the same page.

Waterhouse keeps about 25 players on his travel roster though it seems “a little unnecessary” according  to Waterhouse. He said that it is difficult to have that many “and expect that everyone is going to be able to get the amount of playing time that they want.”

Waterhouse said that it’s not always easy for him to run the team with different players and balance his social life. He understands players have other commitments going on, but when his players “blow off practices,” it can be stressful.

“The worst thing that’s happened a few times is encountering players with huge egos that think they deserve so much when they deliver half of what they talk about,” said Waterhouse.

The club team is provided a 15-game schedule to play other schools such as Fordham University. However, Waterhouse strives for an additional 10 games, which makes the season longer for athletes willing to  compete. Since playing in the northeast is hard with the cold weather, games can get cancelled very quickly, providing a disadvantage for players that want to get out and play baseball.

Because it is a club baseball team, Waterhouse said the enthusiasm from players sometimes isn’t there 100 percent of the time. He said he makes an effort to let his players understand that the “team is a commitment and I expect them to come to at least three out of four practices as a week.”

Fourth-year player Brian Coleman said that he  loves being a part of the team.

“I started playing club because I missed playing the game,” Coleman said. “Baseball is a huge part of my life and wanted to keep playing at a high level. I’m definitely still happy I’m playing. It’s not as competitive as the varsity level here, but it allows us to compete against other schools”.

Graduate student Dylan Franco, who played on the varsity team last year as an undergraduate student, has joined the team after completing his studies last spring. Franco is in the business administration graduate program and  he  loves how the team is run by Waterhouse as well, especially with playing time.

“Everyone on the team just loves to play the game,” said Franco. “I think everyone is just happy to be out on the field playing in college. Joe really does a nice job spreading out the team so everyone plays.”