Play ball

Undergraduate students pursue their passion for baseball in college on the Carolina club baseball team.

People playing baseball on Hooker Fields.
Club baseball president Cameron Wade hits balls during a fielding drill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

The Tar Heels playing in Boshamer Stadium aren’t the only ones representing Carolina on a baseball diamond.

The Carolina club baseball team is an opportunity for Tar Heels to pursue their passion for playing baseball in college while bonding with their teammates.

“Baseball has always been an escape from the stress of my daily life,” says Cameron Wade, a junior and the head coach and co-president of the club baseball team. “School and work can be hard, and as soon as I step on the field with my teammates, that stress goes away.”

They are part of the Mid-Atlantic Conference, competing against other universities, including NC State, Elon, East Carolina, UNC Wilmington and Appalachian State.

The Tar Heels are currently wrapping up their season and looking forward to regionals and national in May. Eyeing a return to a national championship, which the team last won in 2007.

Senior Brantlee Bryant bunts during batting practice.

Senior Brantlee Bryant bunts during batting practice. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

The students serve as players and coaches on the team of 20 to 25 players.

Many members of the team have played since they were young kids and wanted to continue playing in college.

“Baseball was a big part of my identity growing up. It took up almost all of my free time, I played every summer of my life and have coached for the past three years,” says Rosenblum, a sophomore and pitcher for the club baseball team. “It provides me with a consistent source of happiness. From experiencing injuries to teaching kids how to play the game, baseball has also taught me many life lessons and shaped me into who I am today.”

The team practices four to five days a week at Hooker Fields in the spring and three times a week in the fall. The team plays in one tournament each year, and all other games are played as three-game series over the weekends.

Club baseball president Cameron Wade (left) and sophomore Brendan Rosenblum meet up after a throwing drill.

Club baseball president Cameron Wade (left) and sophomore Brendan Rosenblum meet up after a throwing drill. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Practicing together and traveling to tournaments has helped the team become very close with each other and create friendships that they will have throughout their lives.

“I really enjoy how close our team is. We are an extremely tight knit group. Most of us hang out outside of baseball, and we made sure to have plenty of team-bonding events, which definitely helps,” Wade says.

Along with gaining so many new friendships, the team has bonded with each other to create memories they can look back on.

“My favorite aspect of the game is how it is almost impossible for one player to be able to win the game for your team, so it is essential that you rely on your teammates to help win and compete,” says Jake Rouse, co-president of the club baseball team and junior economics major. “In sports like basketball and football it is a lot easier for one player to make a big difference all on their own. This aspect of the game leads to great bonding between teammates.”