The Kellogg Community College baseball team begins making their way through Mississippi this week after a tough first half of their annual spring trip put them up against the defending national champions of Louisiana State University Eunice this past weekend.
The Bruins went 0-3 against the Bengals, playing nine-inning games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The team, which left campus with 27 players and a handful of coaching staff at noon last Thursday, will play a total of 10 games on their trip before returning to KCC on Saturday, March 9.
Eric Laskovy, the team’s head coach, said last week that there are two big things they want to see when they embark on these trips each year.
“We want to see camaraderie built,” Laskovy said, “and the other thing is we’re going to see what some of our weaknesses are.”
Weakness isn’t a word often attributed to the Bruins, who’ve seen four top-10 finishes in the NJCAA – including a runner-up finish in 2007 – and six league championships in the past 12 years. Between game play, travel, team dinners and the half dozen or so study tables required of the players during the trip, Laskovy said their time down south is all business.
“We just make it all baseball,” he said.
The team has made the same trip for the past five years, heading to areas in Georgia and Florida in years prior. Laskovy said the trips help the team to get some quality play under their belts so they can be prepared for tough competition later in the spring.
They also offer the athletes, who are students as well – boasting a team-average GPA above 3.0 over the past six years – the opportunity to travel and experience different types of people and places that may be somewhat new to them.
“There’s also a cultural component,” Laskovy said of the trips, noting the Louisiana games were to be played in the heart of Cajun country. “That’s also something that we value.”
The Bruins fell to LSU Eunice 2-4, 2-11 and 1-11, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Their next game – a double-header against Southwest Mississippi Community College – is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in McComb, Miss.
The team will continue play in the state through Friday, with a double-header against Copiah Lincoln Community College beginning at noon Wednesday, March 6, in Wesson, and a double-header against Holmes Community College beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in Goodman.
The Bruins will finish up their trip with a nine-inning game against Holmes beginning at noon Friday, March 8, before embarking on the 18-hour trip back home to Battle Creek.
If you want to follow along with the team’s progress as they play, freshman pitcher Logan Templeton is live-tweeting the trip through KCC’s @Kellogg_CC_Live twitter account, which you can follow online at www.twitter.com/Kellogg_CC_Live.
For more information about the baseball program at Kellogg Community College, visit www.kellogg.edu/athletics/baseball/index.html.