UIndy Baseball Team Prepares for the GLVC Tournament

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The University of Indianapolis baseball team is currently preparing for the GLVC Tournament that will kick off in Marion, Illinois. on May 8, according to UIndy Athletics. With the team consisting of a lot of returning players, Head Coach Al Ready hopes the team’s returning players can lead them back to the Division II National Championship. 

“Our team makeup is very similar to what it was last year,” Ready said. “We’ve got a lot of upperclassmen with some experience. We didn’t return as many pitchers as position players, but, nonetheless, the guys that we brought in, a lot of transfers, pitchers that we brought in have really filled the hole that some of the guys that made a big impact last year.”

In regards to transfers, one who Ready said has taken up a position as a team leader from last year has been red-shirt junior Easton Good. According to Good, he spent his first two years at Miami University, a public university in Ohio, finding himself at UIndy after playing summer ball under UIndy Baseball Recruiting Coordinator and Pitching Coach Adam Cornwell. Good said he agrees this year’s team is very similar to the championship qualifying team.

“The core group that we have is a lot of returning guys who went to the College World Series last year,” Good said. “We know what we need to do, so as far as like the composition of the team, I think we just have a lot of guys who know what we need to do in order to get where we want to get because we have a lot of guys who are returning, who have been there and done that and know kind of what it’s gonna take to get there again. We have a lot of returners, but we also have some spots filled by some new guys, which we needed.”

According to Ready, Good has taken strides in advancements especially on the offensive side of the ball this year. Someone who used to bat ninth for the team has now provided much needed leadership and offensive performance, said Ready.

“Going from the ninth-place hitter, which is the last hitter in your order, to the first-place hitter shows you how much he’s improved over in one year,” Ready said. “He’s always been a really good defender, but offensively he’s really turned a corner for us. I mean, he’s leading our team in almost every offensive category this year, so he’s been just fantastic for us.”

Contributed by Sophie Tintera Junior shortstop Easton Good gets ready to bat during the March 24 game against Rockhurst University. The baseball team is preparing for their upcoming GLVC tournament starting the first weekend of May.

For Good, this season has been an opportunity for him to perform for the sport he loves. Being in the transfer portal was hard, Good said, especially with  a lot of uncertainty.

“I didn’t know if I was gonna play baseball again for a little bit,” Good said. “And then once I got to UIndy, I just kind of had a new appreciation for baseball because I had seen how quickly it could have been taken away from me, and I didn’t have any options. I didn’t have anywhere to go and then to finally find your option and find your new home. Just felt like I had a new appreciation for just practicing, like, working out all that stuff.”

With a slow start to their season, Ready said the Greyhounds turned a corner, having a 13-game conference win streak, which also set a new record for the program. As of Reflector press time, the team had a conference record of 20-5, placing them as the second seed among their conference competitors, according to UIndy Athletics

“Right now, being 16-4 and sitting in second place in the GLVC, we’re in a really good spot,” Ready said. “We control our destiny.”

According to Good, the team’s focus has changed from looking at the big picture to focusing on the smaller aspects and wins they can control. With this mentality, they are able to take the success of individual innings and propel them to perform better each time.

“We started our season a little bit slow,” Good said. “We probably lost some games that we should have won or didn’t really compete in some games that we should have competed in, and we kind of switched our mindset to just winning one inning at a time. Not really thinking about the next game that’s going on, thinking about winning every single inning that we can win and once we started to do that we got a really nice streak of winning.”

As the players are heading into the end of the season and switching gears to the GLVC tournament, it can be hard to balance, Good said. As an Academic All-American himself while playing for the Greyhounds, Ready said he tries his best to allow his players to be students first. Although the balance is hard, Good said he and the team know their education is important, too.

“It’s hard sometimes to prioritize school over baseball because baseball is more fun,” Good said. “Baseball is what we all love to do. So you don’t always want to do the school work but you have to, and if you’re gonna do it, you gotta do it to the best of your ability. There’s no reason to give half effort into it.”

Planning to return and compete for his final year of eligibility, Good said his friends, roommates and teammates mean the world to him. As he goes into his final year, he wants to give his all to the sport he loves and the school that helped him, Good said.

“My roommates are a group of four people who will all be graduating next year, and it’s important for me to graduate with them,” Good said. “Those are my best friends, so I want to be there for them and graduate with them. I owe it to UIndy to stay here. They gave me an opportunity when no one else did. I feel like I owe it to the coaches, I owe it to the players to the school for the opportunity they gave me. I want to play here until I can’t.”

According to UIndy Athletics, the team has eight conference games left until the GLVC Championship. Hopeful to repeat their successes from last year, they will be focusing on their successes and strengths. 

“If everything works out, you should see us in the College World Series again,” Good said. “So keep an eye out for us, for sure.”

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