Baseball takes strides to transform team competitiveness


Photo: Nicole Wiegand/Iowa State

Designated hitter Austin Cleveringa makes contact during the Iowa State Club Baseball team’s game against Iowa at the Southwest Athletic Complex on Sunday, April 1. The Cyclones struck early with three runs in the first two innings, but eventually fell to the Hawkeyes by a score of 5-3. 

Emily Hejlik

The ISU Club Baseball team plays at Cap Timm Field, right next to the softball stadium. Current coach is Aaron Hinnah is a senior and will be replaced by an experienced player next season.

The team will graduate four seniors: Aaron Ruff, Phil Johnson, Ben Butler and Hinnah. Reliance on camaraderie has been key this season.

“We are looking to complete a transformation process from old to the new,” Hinnah said. “Last year we struggled with poor work ethic and bad attitudes, but we have already begun taking the proper strides to be competitive right away this year.”

Youth has proved to be instrumental to success as well.

“We are probably one of the youngest teams in the [National Club Baseball Association] this year and this is to our advantage,” Hinnah said. “With a fresh start, young talent and an interminable amount of energy, we will turn a lot of heads this season.”

The squad competes in the NCBA — a national athletic association, like the NCAA for college athletes. A “club” team is the same as a Division I varsity sport, except the baseball team is not funded through the athletic department.

Club teams form in two ways — one is lack of funding to field a team or due to the Title IX restrictions, as was the case with Iowa State. The other way club teams form is when schools that have a varsity team choose to field a second team, such as the University of Iowa.

The Cyclones compete in the Mid-America-North Conference, consisting of Iowa, South Dakota, Northern Iowa and Minnesota State-Mankato. The team that wins conference qualifies for a regional against another conference winner. The champion of the regional will go on to the club World Series.

New additions of Daniel Clements, Dillan Dwyer, Adam Fichter, Austin Fichter, Mitch Gerber, Dalton Hauer, Josh Hetzler, Spencer Maroo, Kyle Martin, Cody Rickard, Adam Schmidt, Kyle Tegeler, Kyle Tjossem and Nick Wells will be looked upon to help lead the team next season.