The tagline from the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams" was "if you believe the impossible, the incredible can come true." This year 20 young men from Holy Cross College believed the impossible---that they could compete with teams made up of recruited-scholarship athletes on the junior varsity and varsity level---and the incredible did come true.
Winning 7 of 19 games, two from an NAIA varsity program, one from an NAIA junior varsity team, one from a junior college program, and three out of three from another club team (Roosevelt University) the Saints proved they belonged on the field. As a team the Saints batted .306 and had an on-base percentage of .406. On average they scored over 7 runs a game.
Most notable the Saints stole home twice, something that isn't seen that much in baseball anymore. "This wasn't on a wild pitch or passed ball," said Head Coach Tom Sutula. "We stole home on the throw by the catcher back to the pitcher. We tried it twice and we were successful twice. Nothing demoralizes a defense more."
The Saints got incredible defensive play in center field, right field, and at third base, but also turned many more double plays than were turned against them this season. "We got some great clutch pitching especially from Pat Huyge, Kevin Gray, Tim Mouton, and Ed Reardon," said coach Sutula.
Returning 7 starting position players and adding some high quality recruits, the Saints have high aspirations for 2010. "All of our hard work---from the early weekend mornings in the Pfeil Center to the late night hitting extravaganzas at Chasing a Dream to the cold afternoon practices at Boehm, to the hilarious bus trips to away games---paid huge dividends," said Sutula. "A group of 20 very disparate young men somehow became a team. Each one of them will forever be able to say that he played college baseball and, even more, that he was a pioneer on a first-year team that, I believe, is destined for greatness."
The Saints capped off their inaugural year with four straight wins, outscoring their opponents 55 - 8 over the final four games. The team has already started preparations and scheduling for the 2009-10 school year. The Saints will travel to Kentucky once again for a spring break trip at the University of Cumberland's.