Undergraduate and team veteran Brian Kahmar details Saint Mary’s club baseball team’s upcoming trip to the NCBA Club Baseball World Series and their hopes of competing if they get enough funding to attend.
By Brent Dondalski
After a tumultuous year in both sports and the world, the Saint Mary’s club baseball team is headed to the 2021 NCBA Club Baseball World Series. The team received an automatic bid to the series and will be representing the Pacific region, hoping to bring a championship back to Moraga. The event will be taking place in Pittsburgh, Kansas from May 27th to June 3rd, with Saint Mary’s going up against seven other teams across the United States.
Third-year student and club baseball veteran Brian Kahmar detailed the anticipation leading up to the event: “There’s a combination of both excitement and nervousness just because I know I haven't been as far as Kansas for baseball ever in my life. And I'm sure a lot of the other guys are feeling the same.”
Despite COVID sidetracking their season, the team hasn’t lost focus. They’ve been discussing ways to get the team playing while still remaining cautious about COVID with their club director as far back as November. When they got the green light to compete, they jumped at the opportunity. Now, the team is in their third week of practice in anticipation of the competition.
“We don't know what the competition will be like just because the teams we’ll be going up against are from all across the country. So we're not sure how they play or how well they play compared to what we're usually used to. For practice right now, I'd say we're probably just focusing on more of the fundamental aspects of the game. You know, proper technique when fielding grounders, catching flyballs, or getting bullpens done so our pitchers are warm and loose when they're throwing. [We’re] trying to be prepared and ready in the event that we do get to go,” Kahmar explained.
This isn’t club baseball’s first competition on the road too. “We went to Vegas in 2019 in November with no expectation of winning at all, and we went 2-2, which was a good positive step for the program and we're hoping this could be another big step in the right direction,” Kahmar recounted. With past trips going well for the program, club baseball is ready to exceed expectations.
Still, the road to the world series is not without its challenges. A week in Kansas means travel expenses, food expenses, and more. “We're doing a lot of fundraising, trying to get the cost down for each individual player to pay out of pocket. And if everybody just can't pay, then I guess it's sort of an out-of-luck situation. So we’re hoping people will continue to help us fundraise money and that uncertainty will become certainty and we’ll find our way to Kansas” Kahmar stated.
Though the funding for the trip remains a source of worry for the team, nothing is set in stone. After fundraising a little over a thousand dollars during 1Day1SMC, the team is hopeful that more donations will come in to help with the cost. “Our fundraising has actually been extended through May 7, still at the same 1Day1SMC link...We still have about a week left in our fundraising, so we're hoping to get as much money as possible.”
Even with the financial obstacles, the NCBA invitation is nothing short of exciting. The Saint Mary’s Club Baseball team has won on the road in the past, and they’re gearing up for more success in Kansas.
To donate to the GiveCampus campaign in support of this team please follow the link below. Donations accepted until ends May 7th 2021:
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Ryan Ford '23,