More often than not, a student’s transition from high school to college involves the decision of whether or not to continue his or her athletic career. Many incoming freshmen still have the desire to compete, simply for the enjoyment and love of the game. This is exactly the opportunity that the Oswego State baseball club provides.
The club baseball team is a member of the National Club Baseball Association (NCBA), and competes at the Division II level. This includes teams from over 100 schools all across the country. Oswego State participates in District I – East, along with SUNY Oneonta, Binghamton University and SUNY Cobleskill.
Before the season begins, the NCBA collects information from every school involved to determine the scheduling of games. Teams are required to play a certain amount of games within their conference, but have the freedom to coordinate other exhibition games with schools outside of their conference when they have an opening in their schedule. However, Oswego State and the other Upstate New York teams play their season a bit differently.
“All of the Upstate New York club teams start in the fall and play about half of the season, and then because of the shortened spring due to the weather, we play half of the season in the spring also,” Tom Small, president of the Oswego State baseball club, said.
Small, who is currently a senior and has been a member of the team for all four of his years at Oswego State, has seen the program evolve and is taking the steps needed to make sure it continues its success in the future.
“We’ve started fundraising a lot more, but in terms of the team, there’s more accountability from the players and we’ve tried to make it more organized,” Small said. “Also, we’ve tried to involve a lot of the younger kids to try to teach them how to run the organization because there’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes.”
While the Lakers are certainly looking to compete at a high level, coach Matt Galletta’s goal is to find the right balance between his players having fun and winning games.
“The kind of culture I like to create as a coach is to balance the fun and trying to win,” Galletta said. “In the past, we would have problems with guys just coming and going at practice and not taking it too seriously. We want to make sure that everyone’s on the same page, working together and helping each other out to make sure there’s no selfishness.”
The current fall season has come to a close, with Oswego State tied for second place in District I-East at 5-3. In anticipation of the spring season, the fall has served as a way for the team to assess their development and see where they stand against the rest of the conference.
Although Galletta expected his team to be a little better, he is confident heading to the spring.
“I’m always optimistic about any team I’m coaching,” Galletta said. “Baseball is different than other sports; it’s not always going to be the best team that wins, it’s whoever plays together the best that day. I was happy that we were able to sneak away in second place, but I definitely expect to win the division and go to the playoffs.”