Mount Union College Welcomes Baseball Team Back to Campus
March 16, 2009
Before sunrise on Sunday morning, Mount Union College welcomed its baseball team home after a week-long Spring Break trip that ended in a 7-1 record. Even more impressive was that all of it happened after the team survived a fire on its bus at the start of its trip last Saturday.
College administrators and fans were on hand to congratulate the team and its members, offering a “welcome back” breakfast in the Hoover-Price Campus Center. Thankful for the team’s safe return, Dr. Richard Giese, president of the College; John Frazier, vice president for student affairs and dean of students; and Pat Heddleston, vice president for business affairs, offered comments and important information in regards to the fire.
Not only did the team lose much of its equipment, but members lost many personal items including student ID cards and room keys needed to return to their campus residences. Student affairs staff members, prepared for their return, were on site to provide new IDs and keys to those who needed them as well as information about insurance coverage for other items lost in the fire.
“I was truly thankful for the welcome and breakfast and impressed with how organized the College administrators were upon our arrival,” said Kevin Hogue, a senior history major from Hubbard, OH who serves as a student coach for the team. “Not only did they provide us with much-needed items and information, they put our minds at ease about the replacement of other lost personal items, including text books and laptop computers. Their quick action certainly made our arrival less stressful.”
“The College took very good care of us while we were in Florida,” said Cory Slaybaugh, a senior sport business major from Hartville. “Since we lost so much in the bus fire, Coach Hesse took us to Wal-Mart so we could get some of the personal items we needed to make it through the week. We very much appreciated Mount Union’s response to what happened.”
In addition to Mount Union’s quick response, other schools on the trip showed support as well. Albion College agreed to delay Sunday's opening game a couple of hours and allowed the Raiders to borrow equipment. Other opponents – Waynesburg University, The College of Mt. St. Joseph, Wittenberg University and Trine University – each offered kind words, support and things from lineup cards to other equipment.
"There are a lot of good people out there and we really appreciate all the support that everyone gave us – our opponents, their fans and total strangers – and those who walked up and asked us if we were OK," said Head Baseball Coach Paul Hesse. "I can't thank the Mount Union College community enough, in particular President Giese, Pat Draves (vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College), Larry Kehres (director of athletics) and Sandy Douglas (associate director of athletics) for their assistance and support this week."
The veteran team was already close but the experience has made them even closer.
"This whole experience has brought us together," stated Grant Sevek, a senior business administration major of Salem, OH after Friday's doubleheader sweep of Trine. "We wanted to turn something negative into a positive and I think we did that this week.”