By: Abby Slaughter
On Sunday, the UMW baseball team faced off against Salisbury University, winning 20-2 and bringing UMW’s overall team record to 15-10. Unlike their other games, the teams faced off at an unusual venue: Ball Circle.
Third baseman Simon Basent, a sophomore history major, hit three home runs in the third inning.
“It was a magical string of threes,” he said. “We all played a great game. I’m not sure if it was the field or what, but Ball Circle is now my favorite place to play.”
Assistant Coach Derek Faucher was impressed by the team’s performance, despite playing on a different field than they typically do.
“Basent and the other guys played a spectacular game, stepping up to the plate and knocking it out of the park,” said Faucher.
The two teams played on Ball Circle due to the university’s construction work on the steam tunnels that has left the area without grass. With just over a month until commencement is scheduled to happen on Ball Circle, this game fast-tracked the university’s timeline of grass restoration.
“We needed our guys to play on Ball Circle for last Sunday’s game because they’ve got cleats,” said Faucher. “Their cleats aerate the area, which helps grass grow in an area the school needs to be ready for graduation.”
Anna Billingsley, associate vice president for university relations, sent out a congratulatory email for the team’s win and their contribution to the landscaping efforts on campus.
“We as a university community thank you for your willingness to play in an atypical environment at which you not only crushed Salisbury, but also helped us prepare for commencement,” said Billingsley.
Baseball is not the only sports team that UMW has relocated due to construction on campus. Earlier this semester, the women’s swim team was relocated to the Rappahannock River under the Falmouth bridge, and the men’s tennis team was moved to the UMW Apartments courtyard patio.
Notably, two players, freshman history major Sam Kendrick and senior biology major Arthur Ballingslee, each bunted for a home run, a tactic not typical of the men’s team.
“I felt I had to bunt because Ball Circle is now sloped down towards Virginia Hall, which is where home plate was,” said Ballingslee. “I knew that if I bunted the ball, it would just roll backwards towards home base, confusing the catcher and making the other Salisbury guys run for it.”
Some students living in Ball, Madison, Custis and Virginia Halls were able to watch the game from their dorm rooms.
“It was so fun to watch the game from my room,” said Samantha Carterson, a senior sports management major. “My roommate and I opened the windows to get some fresh air and to really enjoy the game, but we closed them after hearing some glass break. I think all sports teams should play on Ball Circle if it means the fans and people passing by can get a front row seat to the action.”
After two and a half years of a “ball pit-like environment” on Ball Circle, according to construction manager and owner of Kjellstrom & Lee Pete Alcorn, students can now eat, play sports and scream out final exam frustrations on Ball Circle. UMW baseball was the first sports team to play on Ball Circle out of many more to come, until grass grows back and recreation is deemed by the university as detrimental to grass growth.
“Nature is healing,” said Pete Davardson, a junior environmental science major. “Thanks to the baseball team’s hard work, I’m already seeing grasslings sprout just outside of Virginia Hall. It’s so great to see.”
The baseball team is set to face the Christopher Newport University Captains this Tuesday, following the painting green of the places on Ball Circle that continue to remain grassless. If the team beats Christopher Newport, they will qualify for the NCAA Division III playoffs, which start April 9. Although the Captains currently have a 15-5 record, the Eagles are confident they can put up a good fight.
“We’ll be back on Ball Circle again, facing off against CNU and playing as a team like we always do,” said Kendrick. “As long as we keep this momentum and get to play on Ball Circle again, we’ll crush them.”
This story is a part of our April Fool’s edition and is intended to be satirical in nature. All information or quotations are made up and not to be taken seriously.