For the Hastings College baseball team, the 2019 season has been less than ideal, hoisting a 7-21 record and just snapping an eleven game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over York College at Duncan Field on Tuesday evening.
“It obviously hasn’t gone the way we hoped it to be, and there’s a variety of reasons for that,” HC Baseball Head Coach Steve Spongberg said. “The main one we’re working on right now is that we have a lot of inexperienced guys.”
Graduating twelve seniors at the conclusion of last season, the Broncos knew it would be tough with just three seniors on the 2019 roster. The situation was only worsened with injuries, off-field situations and other players not returning for the 2019 season.
“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to have a little bit more of a veteran team, but through some personal experiences which caused some young men not to be able to play, some guys did not return, and then some injuries that we’ve had, it’s forced us to use a lot of guys that we had hoped to play on JV for another year or two,” Spongberg said.
With a losing record near the end of the season, the Broncos are in danger of missing the GPAC postseason tournament for the first time since 2012, where they finished that season with a record of 13-34. It would also be the first time the Broncos miss the GPAC tournament with Spongberg at the helm. The team currently sits at 10th in the GPAC standings, five games back for the eighth and final spot in the GPAC tournament with 12 GPAC games to go on the season.
Even under the circumstances, the team has not given up hope, knowing that a run at the end of the season could put the Broncos back into contention for the GPAC tournament.
“Honestly, we’ve had a lot of really close games that we just haven’t been able to figure out a way to win those games, which is really encouraging for the future going forward and the rest of the conference play this year,” said Junior Jayden Stack.
Starting three to four freshmen each game and with the record showing the inexperience, it can be easy to label this season as a rebuilding year for the Broncos, but Spongberg isn’t quick to label the season that way.
“Rebuilding is one that we had mentioned, we’d like to say that, but I know when I came we had hoped to get ourselves in a position where we could compete every single year, so this is certainly a step backwards for us,” Spongberg said.
For most teams, a season like this can separate players, causing arguments and frustration — but not for the Broncos. The team has instead decided to focus on each other, showing support rather than turning against each other.
“The biggest thing about this team is that we all love each other and we all have each other’s backs. Even when things get down, we’re always there supporting each other and that’s how good teams get out of bad situations,” said Junior Dylan Fitzgerald.