Transitioning from high school to college baseball

Photo by Andrew Hartnett

by Austin Lockwood

Sports Editor

Speed is a trait that applies to almost every sport. It determines whether or not you can make your move before the opponent is able to stop it. If a player doesn’t have enough speed and quickness, they are sure to fall behind the pack and get lost in the chaos.

That was the main difference freshmen Nick McMurray, Ty Herrenbruck and Chaz Burgess noticed when they first stepped on the field, playing as Cavaliers.

“Faster. You just have to be a lot faster now. Everything is quicker than high school,” McMurray said.

Along with the faster pace of the game, the frequency of games scheduled also increases dramatically. While the average Kansas high school team plays between 19 and 24 games per season, the college plays almost 40 regular season games.

Despite the increased amount of games and the distance needed to travel, the players mentioned how the improved transportation makes away games more bearable.

“We have a much better bus. … We get food for the trips and the trips are just way better because of it.” McMurray said.

The improved provisions were not the only reason all three freshmen chose Johnson County over many other schools recruiting the players across the country. Herrenbruck cited the team’s winning potential and competitiveness as the reason he chose the Cavaliers.

“I think a lot of it is the good program too. I think we all kind of wanted to come here even before they contacted us,” he said.

They aren’t exempt from mistakes, however; both McMurray and Burgess have two fielding errors apiece, but the trio has managed to make up for them with a combined 39 RBIs. McMurray has especially made the most of his time as a contributor by ranking third on the team in batting average with a .347. Herrenbruck has seen his fair share of action as well as results. The left fielder has shown his power with two home runs and 18 RBIs to go with his .301 batting average.

The contributions of all three players have gone on to improve the team as a whole as well. The Cavaliers currently hold a 25-11 record and are coming off a nine-game winning streak.

The team’s highlight matchup will likely be the season finale, a four-game series against Fort Scott Community College (26-8) on April 28 and 30. Another series of note would be against Allen County CC (18-14), a team currently tied for second in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference East Division.

Despite the impressive overall record, the college will need help from other teams if they want to win the division. The Cavaliers are currently sixth in the division with a 7-9 conference record and are currently five games behind Neosho County (28-5, 15-5 KJCCC).


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