Baseball Gears Up for Spring Trip; Florida Alumni Invited to Game, Reception
By Chris Macchi ’12
The game of baseball can be incredibly unforgiving, and a little luck always comes into play. As the Arcadia University Baseball team gears up for the new season, first-year Coach Ken Spangenberg ’08 has players focused on preparing themselves for the aspects of the game that they can control. That all started with pre-season and continues as the team travels to Florida for a five-game roadtrip.
Coming off of a tough 2011 campaign, coaches and players are relishing the opportunities ahead. “We expect to surprise some teams right away,” says Spangenberg. “If we leave the field playing the best baseball we can play, then we will be satisfied regardless of the end results. In a sport like baseball where a player can hit 10 line drives in 10 at-bats and still get out all 10 times, all we can worry about is the effort we put forth in order to be successful.”
Spangenberg brings with him plenty of post-season experience, both as a player at Arcadia and as a coach. In his four-year career as a starter at Arcadia, he helped the team to four consecutive post-season appearances and still holds the program record for career triples (16). As an assistant coach, Spangenberg helped guide Edgewood College (Madison, Wis.) to multiple conference championship games and fell one game short of the College World Series while at Keystone College (LaPlume, Pa.) in 2009.
Arcadia’s roster has undergone changes, too. “We’re a new look team,” says Marc Gottfried ’12. “We have a new coaching staff and a lot of good young freshmen and transfers. Although we still have a lot of experience on the team after only losing one person from last year, we are definitely going to be doing some things differently this year in order to put ourselves in the playoffs.”
With assistance from Todd Barnes, Strength and Conditioning Coach, players dedicated themselves to improved fitness during the off season, and are beginning to see the benefits now.
Jerry Smith ’13 is excited about the opportunity to surprise teams this year. He says, “Our goal is to make the playoffs, because once you get there, anything can happen. The coaching staff is doing everything they can to prepare us for the upcoming season, and I think all the hard work will pay off.”
With this goal in mind, the team is treating every game leading up to Conference play as a tune-up game. This year, the team will play five games in Myrtle Beach, S.C., as part of the program’s annual Spring Break trip down South. Not only does this trip provide team bonding, great baseball weather and the opportunity to face new opponents, but it serves as a great opportunity to meet Arcadia alumni.
Arcadia’s Office of Alumni Relations is hosting a complimentary alumni dinner reception on Monday, March 12, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Hard Rock Café in Myrtle Beach before the Knights take on Ulster Community College at 6 p.m. at the Cal Ripken Experience (3051 Ripken Way, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577-6706).