by Savanah Baker
Concordia’s 2015-16 baseball season does not start until February, but the team is already reaching out to the Seward community. The team hosted its first fundraiser and community event, a home run derby, on Sept. 25.
The event was inspired by Bryce Berg, the team’s new graduate assistant coach.
“I came from a smaller school, and so I thought it was a great way to involve the community,” Berg said. “It is a fundraiser, but our primary purpose was to get people to figure out where the field was and to have a good night at the park.”
An estimated 100 people including adults, students and children participated in the event.
“We had a lot of walk-ups, so I’m not sure how much we made, but we got a lot more people out here than we expected,” said coach Ryan Dupic.
The derby was divided into men’s and women’s sections. Each participant paid $10 for ten swings and scored points depending on where the ball was hit.
The top two men and women competed again to decide the winner. Winners NiCole Dobernecker and Berg each received a trophy.
“The credit really goes to [Berg] for this idea,” Dupic said. “A lot of people are helping out today, and it is a great opportunity for us to serve the student body and community, but it wouldn’t have happened without him.”
During the derby, players managed a table selling hats and t-shirts to support the baseball program.
While the fundraiser was part of the derby, both coaches emphasized the important part of this event was community involvement.
“We have goals to make it even bigger. We want to provide food for people and other things like that,” Dupic said. “Being the first year we didn’t know how many people would come, but we definitely want to keep doing it.”
The Bulldogs will open their season Feb. 13 against Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas. They hope to improve and build off their winning season last year. The 2014-15 team had its first winning season since 1979 and set school records for most wins and runs in a season.