Strength in numbers: baseball club building on success

RYAN HERRING, Sports Columnist

UNI cut its Division I baseball program after the 2009 season, which was a disappointment to many. However, that doesn’t mean baseball is nonexistent here. UNI has a legitimate club baseball team that continues to grow and improve.

“It’s unfortunate that the university doesn’t have a NCAA baseball team,” said Tucker Barrett, president of the club baseball team, “but the club team gives you the opportunity to stay with game while getting a good education here.”

The team is off to a hot start this year, finishing up their fall season with an impressive record of 7-5, which is a big improvement from their 4-8 finish last year. This is one of the best fall seasons the club has ever had, and they hope to continue the success when spring ball rolls around.

The season opened up with a road trip to Kansas City for the KC Woodcat Classic where the team went down and snagged the championship. It was at this point Nic Peters, junior on the team, knew “things were going to be a lot better this season.”

A big reason the club is achieving more this year than before is because of the team’s growth. Last year, the squad had a total of 20 guys, and this year they began the season with 30. This proves the interest level is growing, which is allowing the program to advance. More and more people are wanting to get involved, and why wouldn’t they?

“It provides a great opportunity for students to experience the game and meet new people,” Barrett said.

The club team has led to many strong friendships from the abundance of time they guys spend together. They practice four times a week (usually going for about 90 minutes), take long road trips to tournaments together, do some volunteering and do a lot of fundraising.

This is Barrett’s first year as president and it seems he’s got his guys’ support.

“Tucker did a great job changing things up this year for the better,” said Peters. “He does a great job managing guys and making sure everyone’s on the same page. “

Although the team is confident, they know they have a tough road ahead of them to get to where they want to go. As a club baseball team, the end goal is always the Club Baseball World Series, which is taking place in Kentucky this year.

Some of the toughest competition will be coming from within the state, including Iowa and Iowa State (who qualified for the club world series last year). UNI will square off against both these teams this coming spring.

If you’re interested in following the team this year, you can check out their website at or if you want to get involved with the team you can email Tucker Barrett at [email protected].