UCC baseball boasts excellent team players both on, off the field

Published by Amy Latham on

Adam Harris (left), infielder, steps up to plate in a game against Edmonds at One Champion Carwash Field. Gerardo Lopez / The Mainstream

For UCC’s baseball team, playing on the field is only a fraction of the game. Community service, team bonding, and academic achievements are all sacrosanct traditions the program endorses. “We’ve cleaned up the parks, done some stuff downtown and we help at the elementary schools. We’re always looking to see our guys out there,” head coach Jeremiah Robbins says. “In our current society, I don’t think a lot of people trust each other, and we’re trying to break down those barriers and use the platform of baseball to create trust.” 

Interview with RiverHawk baseball player Adam Harris. He came to UCC from Australia and shares his experience being a part of the team. Gerardo Lopez / The Mainstream

The team also mentors for the Junior Riverhawk Baseball Academy in addition to their help cleaning the community. Junior RiverHawks is a series of teams made up of youth between the ages of below 10 to 14. “Our housing situation is really helpful because we can bring teams in to train there and we can help them out that way,” UCC sophomore and infielder Adam Harris says. The baseball housing comes with open spaces for athletes to practice batting and catching. 

Harris, who is an international student from Australia, started playing for UCC’s team last year, but Harris has played the sport since he was 11. “I want to play as long as I can,” he says. “I don’t know where that’s going to take me, but I’m going to play as hard as I can and always give 100%. It’s my favorite sport, so why wouldn’t I give 100%.”

Harris hopes his team goes all the way to the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament. “That would be amazing, but day in and day out, we’re just growing as people and teammates, and we’re learning to trust each other. That’s a really big, positive part about this program.”

UCC players give gratitude for a well played game after losing 4-0 against Edmonds. Gerardo Lopez / The Mainstream

Robbins, who spent 20 years coaching baseball before starting as a coach at UCC in 2018, is also optimistic for this season. “We’ve been working really hard. I love where our mindset is as far as attitude and effort goes,” he says. “I think we’re right there to get a league title. Those are all number goals, but my biggest goal for these guys is for every sophomore to go on to the four year institution with an associate’s degree, and they’re on track for that.”

For many students, Robbins said, baseball is physically easy, but the amount of mental effort is difficult. “When the mind gets in the way is when it really creates some issues. We’re trying to keep the game simple with some solid mindsets. Being a college athlete is tough. There’s a lot of requirements. We’ve got weights in the morning, school all day, practice and we repeat every single day.”

“Whatever happens in the Hawks’ Nest stays in the Hawks’ Nest,” Robbins jokes. This isn’t their only tradition, though. The baseball team holds the tradition of passing down gear such as gloves and baseball bats to new players once they move up in their career. “That actually started about three years ago. Guys would hand down to the freshman, and that continued over the years. It’s pretty cool.”

The baseball team played three games over the course of this last weekend at One Champion Carwash Field, winning two games: one 6-5 against Spokane and the other 1-0 against Edmonds. They lost  one game against Edmonds 4-0. Their next games are set for Friday, Feb. 23 at 12 and 3 p.m. at the One Champion Carwash Field in Roseburg. Future game dates, locations and scores can be found on the UCC athletic website.

This story was updated to show the correct date, times and opponents. The NWAC Conference name was also corrected.

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