CHICKASHA – The Drover baseball season, complete with broken records and national tournament invite, turned out to be the best season in school history, something Assistant Coach Sam Hayden was excited to see his first season back at the university.
“The season was unbelievable. From the start of the fall, we knew what kind of team we had,” Hayden said. “They were ready to go from the very beginning until the very end, so it was an unbelievable season, unbelievable group of guys. It was something very special.”
With a program-high 41 wins, the Drovers achieved their No. 1 goal, a trip to the national tournament. The coaches had one message for their players, who were making their first appearance on the national stage: Enjoy every moment and play hard.
“That’s what our guys did. They left everything on the field every single game, and you can’t say enough good things about them,” Hayden said. “The outcome definitely wasn’t what we were hoping for, but that being said, it was a phenomenal season. It was a great tournament.”
Several players broke regular season records in addition to the squad breaking the team wins record. Additionally, five Drovers were named All-Conference.
“That’s a tribute to the guys,” he said. “They put together a season that’s definitely going to be remembered here, and that’s based on their hard work … any of the records they broke is due to their ability to just work as hard as they can any time.”
With 15 seniors, the coaches have been recruiting aggressively to fill in the spots in nearly every position on the field next year.
“We are definitely excited about the guys that we signed and possible recruits that we have,” he said. “Hopefully, recruiting will continue to go well and we can put together a squad that can give us 40 wins again.”
This will be the final In the Saddle of the season. The show will be back In the Saddle in August.