BASEBALL: Growing Pains
A Young Baseball Team Is Playing Through One Of The Toughest Seasons In BC History
Published: Sunday, April 7, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 8, 2013 00:04
The first month and a half of the season was the toughest for BC. It included a 15-game losing streak, all of it coming over a span of 24 days in March.
“Part of the thing that happened in that skid was guys were caring so much and trying so hard and pressing—gripping the bat too tight, gripping the fastball too tight, trying so hard, instead of just allowing themselves to play—which is a good thing. I can handle that,” Gambino said.
Gambino said that he was proud of how his team came out of the losing streak tighter than when it started. He’s hoping that it will serve as a character-building experience, something that can help out the freshmen and sophomores on the team.
Though they have played 30 games, the Eagles have only played at Shea Field four times, all coming in the last week. They were supposed to have played nine home games on their schedule by now, but bad weather and poor field conditions moved those other five games out of Chestnut Hill. Two games were moved to Northeastern and Bryant because Shea Field was not in playing condition, and a full three-game series against North Carolina got moved to Chapel Hill because of a midweek snowstorm.
“It was frustrating, but you can’t control it when you get eight inches of snow on Tuesday,” Gambino said of the UNC series. “The whole thing everybody was talking about was, ‘I just want to play baseball. I want a chance to play, a chance to compete against North Carolina. I want the chance to play an ACC series, I want the chance to get a win, I want a chance to get better. If we got to go down there to do it, let’s do it.’”
Over the last few years, there has been talk about building a new baseball stadium on the Brighton campus. It is in the University’s Master Plan, but has yet to come to fruition.
“I know there are plans for it, I know there’s talk of it, I know there’s money for it,” Gambino said. “I think a lot of what’s holding it up right now is even out of the control of not just our athletic department, but our school. I think it has a lot to do with permitting from the mayor’s office and stuff that I’m not really involved in.”
While a new stadium and improved facilities could help solidify the baseball program, Gambino is trying to focus on how his team is playing, not where they’re playing.
“Getting that stadium built, getting an indoor facility built, those are all things we’re talking about and working towards and want to get done,” Gambino said. “But control what you can control, right? You spend all your time worrying about that and miss our opportunities to get better.”
Gambino knows there is always something more that his program could use, but he believes that they already have everything they need to succeed in the ACC.
“We don’t get everything we want, but we get everything we need,’” he said. “We’ve got everything we need to reach our potential, first and foremost as students, as people, and on the baseball field. It’s not always pretty and sometimes it can be hard and sometimes it can be a grind, but that’s part of our edge.”
The results are not what Gambino wants. Nobody in the program is happy with what the win column shows right now. But Gambino believes that the bruises the Eagles are taking right now will help them get to where they want to be in the future.
“All the things that people outside our program look at and say that’s why we can’t win,” Gambino said, “when we get this thing going here pretty soon—and we are, we’re moving in that direction—those are going to be all the reasons why we do win.
“The toughness and the character and how tight our clubhouse is and how much time we spend together on the road, learning how to play in front of hostile crowds—all those things we deal with all the time are going to be our biggest advantages. I don’t love the results of the first half, but I love the direction we’re going in.”