Clint Fry steps out of his car in his bleach white baseball pants, navy blue jersey and crisp Roadrunners baseball cap. He strolls over to the dugout in Roadrunner field, sits down on the bench, and looks out on the field. He has to fill out the lineup card for the day.
Fry remembers a time not too long ago when he was seeing his name on the card rather than writing in others’ names.
He is a recent UTSA graduate who holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology (exercise science). However, when the club held its inaugural season just three years ago, he was the starting third baseman as well as team captain.
“Coaching is a lot different,” Fry said. “The will to be in the game and be able to help my players first hand is still so strong.”
Although Fry captained the team in its first year, he did not create it. Royce Alvarez, a senior civil engineering major, recognized the absence of baseball at UTSA outside its NCAA team and sought to remedy the situation.
As he talked to more and more guys on campus, it became clear that the demand was strong enough to warrant the creation of UTSA Club Baseball.
“The first year was rough,” Royce said. “We didn’t know a lot of teams so our schedule basically came down to the other teams already in our conference.”
Royce steered the club through its turbulent infancy and developed a determination to improve it further as he was tapped to serve as president again in the second year.
“We networked a lot in the summer between its first year and second year,” Royce explained. “We talked to JuCo teams and NAIA teams, and our schedule went from 12 games that first year to 33 games the second year.”
The club’s third year in existence served as an important milestone in the history. While the club competed its first two years in Division II of The National Club Baseball Association, the NCBA awarded UTSA Club Baseball with a spot in the Division I Gulf Coast South Conference in just its third year of VFRV.
In its first year competing in Division I, UTSA Club Baseball fell just short of capturing the conference championship.
Now in its fourth year, UTSA Club Baseball continues its ascension in the club sports program. It not only boasts the largest membership in club history, but also its largest schedule. Ryan Howard, the current club president, predicts even bigger things for the future of UTSA Club Baseball.
“We’re gonna be one of the top teams for sure,” Howard said. “People knowing about us as we continue to grow will only increase our talent, and we’ll soon be competing for regional champs every year.”
Howard, a junior business management major, has been a member of the club since its second year and has been impressed with the progress. However, just the club’s third president, is feeling some of the growing pains.
“When the schedule works out, we’re able to play games on Roadrunner Field. But we’re not always lucky, and that means finding and financing a field. Practice facilities pose a similar problem,” Howard said.
UTSA Club Baseball is currently leading the Gulf Coast South conference after wins over Lone Star College – Kingwood.
The Roadrunners continue their quest for a championship when they take on Sam Houston State at Roadrunner Field on April 9 and 10.