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The Antelope

The Antelope

Baseball season right around the corner

Paula Jimenez-Sanchez Antelope Staff
Paula Jimenez-Sanchez
Antelope Staff

Baseball has always been popular, and it always will be. We’re not denying football — and it is Super Bowl season.
But baseball? Circa 1839, 172 years and more popular than ever following the 2016 World Series.

February is almost here, and there is a team gearing up for their season to start. The University of Nebraska at Kearney baseball program has days left until their first game of the season. With a past season record of 19 and 29, the Lopers are more than ready to begin this season with lots of excitement and a very high quality of baseball.

The first weekend of February, the Lopers will hit the road to Denver. They will face Metropolitan State University in the beautiful and breathtaking location of downtown Denver.

In the past, this dual has been cancelled multiple times due to bad weather conditions. It is kind of risky to schedule a three-day game in Denver at the beginning of February. You never know how nice or how bad the weather can be during those dates. Stay tuned to for up-to-date news.

Following their trip to Colorado, the Lopers will travel way down south to Arkansas, where they will be facing teams from all over the region.
During the month of February and even into early March, the majority of the games are going to be played far away from home, in “warm-weather” states. UNK baseball will be on the road the whole month of February until they host Midland University for the home opener game on March 7.
This team is different than any other team you can see on the UNK campus. The discipline that head coach Damon Day insists upon has created a very unique culture. The players know that being in the classroom and at the baseball field is a full-time job, and that dedication dictates the way they spend their days.

When players sign to play baseball for the Lopers, they are fully aware of what the conditions are and the high expectations placed upon this team. There is no time for complaining. It is a very high-paced schedule and mentally and physically tough players are the only ones that can keep up.
There are no days off. The baseball program practices every day, including weekends. Mondays are their official “day off” since they do not have a scheduled practice time but the players use their free time to practice on their own.

The 2016-2017 team has 41 players on the roster for this season: 11 seniors, 14 juniors, five sophomores, and 11 freshmen — definitely one of the largest teams coach Day has had in the past 14 years as the head baseball coach for the program.

The big support that UNK baseball gets from the community is reflected not only on the players’ spirit when they go out and play, but also in their facilities.

Memorial Field contains one of the premier practice facilities in NCAA Division II, with stands for over 2,000 fans.  Providing UNK players and coaches with a top-notch practice facility includes a newly remodeled locker room, a team meeting area, a space with couches and TVs, the coaches’ offices, the batting cages and a two-weeks old weight room.

Every year, at the Upper Deck Club banquet, the UNK baseball program receives donations from the Kearney community and all these donations go towards making the athlete experience the best it can possibly be.

Players from all over the country as well as two international players play for a great baseball program that brings more than just wins or loses to the table. The brotherhood that these 41 players build and the way they show it when they go out and play is pretty difficult to describe with just words. Baseball fans sure know that this group of players are going to bring us a good “Loper-show” this season. We cannot wait to see what this season has in store for Loper baseball.

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