The return to the diamond

There were many broken hearts around UVM’s campus last spring as the varsity baseball team became a victim of a $10.8 million budget cut by the University.

Players, fans and alumni alike were crushed when the school decided to cut the baseball program instead of imposing budget cuts on the higher profile sports such as hockey, skiing or basketball.

Those who supported the baseball team through tough times last year are now rejoicing as baseball is making a return to UVM. The newly formed club baseball team is getting ready for the start of their season in the fall by scheduling about 10 games to play this spring.

The team will be taking these games against local high schools and colleges very seriously.

“Make no mistake about it, we will be treating the scrimmages like they mean something,” player Dan Maldanado said.

Since the program was cut last season, many people have wanted to continue the strong tradition of baseball at UVM. The 56 students who tried out for the team are a testament to the love of baseball that can be found around campus.

Owen Ozanich is one of three members of the club team who were on the varsity roster last year. He believes that the atmosphere will be different from when the team was on the Division I level.

“The guys on the team are here not because they were recruited, but solely because they love the game,” Ozanich said.

Love for the game doesn’t always translate to play on the field though. It can only go so far, and Ozanich understands this.

“As a former player, I can say that the talent level on this team is second to none in the state of Vermont, including official NCAA programs at other universities,” Ozanich said.

UVM baseball fans, although they do not have a varsity ball club, can claim at least a small victory in the fight to restore the tradition of baseball to UVM’s campus.

The newly formed club team brings the national pastime back to students and alumni alike.