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Club baseball’s preseason home runs

Weber State Men’s Club Baseball, Estabon Romero (18), getting prepared to hit the ball as it is about to be pitched.

Since 1974, Weber State University’s men’s club baseball has experienced the highs and lows that any good baseball team does. More recently, there has been some growth.

In 2021, they won four games, and within two years, they doubled their wins and took third in their conference last year. In 2022, they started with four players and now have grown to 21, allowing them opportunities to play more competitively.

Currently, in their preseason games, the Wildcats are 5–0. Playing three games against Southern Utah University on Sept. 8 and 9, the first three-game sweep in years for the club. On Sept. 23, Weber State played and won twice against Idaho State University.

This year, the Wildcats have a new coach. Mats Summerhays played baseball growing up and has coached baseball for 15 years. This opportunity came through his son, Erik Summerhays, who plays on the team.

“Last year, the coach was an injured player who couldn’t play, and it kind of created a little bit of a conflict having a player being the coach,” Mats Summerhays said. “So, when they had the opportunity to have somebody that had been coaching for a long time and he wasn’t a player, it kind of made sense, definitely in the right place at the right time.”

When the season begins this fall, the Wildcats will be playing Utah State University and the University of Utah.

Weber State plays under the National Club Baseball Association, which allows the season to be split up for fall and spring. This permits all the teams to get their games in for the season.

Men’s baseball at Weber State is a club that not only provides students with opportunities to showcase their athletic skills but to also put into practice their intellectual ones as well.

“The main goal for them is to continue to play the sport that they love playing and improve themselves,” Mats Summerhays said. “I want to be able to see them succeed in the classroom as well. So, it’s not all about athletics. I want them to continue to play and take the lessons that they learn on the field and translate them into the classroom.”

Nicholas Garcia, president of the baseball club, is a senior at Weber State and a Business Administration major with a minor in leadership. He was originally attending Shasta College in Redding, California, to play baseball, but once COVID-19 happened, he moved back to Utah and started attending Weber State. It took some time before Garcia learned Weber had a baseball club, but once he joined, he quickly realized the club could be run a lot better.

“A lot of people were leaving, so I kind of found myself in the presidency just like, ‘Well, here you go,’” Garcia said. “When I came in last year, we only had four players. So, these guys came out of nowhere. Now we have 21.”

Last year, Garcia tore his ACL and MCL and blew out his meniscus at a tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. He will return in February for the spring season. As president, he works behind the scenes doing the paperwork, scheduling, budgeting and purchasing for the club. This opportunity, besides being able to play the sport he loves, allows him to get first-hand experience with what he wants to do in his career and teaches life-long lessons.
“Baseball is my favorite,” Garcia said. “The life correlations that baseball has of being patient and having confidence, not compounding errors, the stillness, all of that is what makes it special.”

Men’s club baseball is a competitive program, with players from other colleges transferring to Weber State to play or sending players to the Ogden Raptors and Major League Baseball. Sebastian Davila, who plays for the Wildcats, also played for the Honduras National team.

“With us being college athletes, the throws are hard, we run fast, we hit hard, it’s just super fun to come out and watch,” Garcia said. “We play at Lindquist Field, where the Ogden Raptors play. We don’t charge for tickets. Weber State students can come out and watch us, and it’s really cool to have that support in the crowd.”

The Wildcats will play at the Aggie Classic tournament from Oct. 6-8 at Utah State University.

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Jacoba Jones
Jacoba Jones, Sports reporter
Anna Kuglar
Anna Kuglar, Photography editor

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