UW-La Crosse Eagle baseball down but not out

SPECIAL TO TCBB
Written by Zach Thiel
Wisco-LacrosseTime is running out for men’s college baseball at University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Due to budget cuts the administration as of June 10th has decided to end their division three baseball program immediately unless $50,000 can be raised by September 1st. The first hurdle will allow play for the upcoming season; however an additional $375,000 will need to be raised by May 2010 to keep baseball at the school over the next 5 years. La Crosse has developed a long list of notable athletes over the years, to name a few: Brewers pitcher Jerry Augustine, Brewers/Huntsville Stars/Team Italy’s catcher Vinny Rottino, first baseman Craig Kusick, NFL lineman Tom Newberry and NFL WR Bill Schroeder.

To any current Eagle player or future athlete looking to play baseball at Wisconsin La Crosse this news is devastating. Baseball to these kids is a huge part of their lives with many continuing to play over summer vacation for state teams in the area. How many of these kids’ dreams of making it to the next level will end with this decision unless they transfer schools, thus ending relationships with their teammates, friends, and forcing them to start their collegiate baseball careers over? Unfortunately all life’s lessons are not necessarily learned in the class room, that virtues such as team work, commitment, loyalty, leadership, competition, endeavor, perseverance, personal sacrifice, time management among many others are an everyday part of a student athlete’s life.

Since the June 10th announcement to end baseball at La Crosse and the creation of www.saveuwlbaseball.com close to $20,000 has been raised along with over 1800 hits on the website. However saving baseball for the University of Wisconsin La Crosse players and their families still has a long way to go. The website www.saveuwlbaseball.com has been setup to track the fund raising efforts along with offering any additional information to interested parties that want to prevent the death of college baseball at La Crosse. Raising an additional $30,000 to keep baseball at La Crosse for this season is going to be a difficult task, and raising the remaining $375,000 dollars needed will not get any easier. In order to save Eagle baseball large donations from individuals who have a passion for the program or the game of baseball will need to be discovered.
Wisconsin native Zach Thiel the creator of www.saveuwlbaseball.com has two cousins on the team, Gavin and Garrett Scray. Gavin and Garrett are both pitchers on the team, Gavin will be going into his senior season and Garrett into his sophomore season.