By: Matt Lood
The IU South Bend baseball team held its annual Alumni Game Sept. 23. The game ended with the present Titans defeating the alumni 3-0, but that’s not what this game is about.
When asked why the Alumni Game is so important to him, head baseball coach Doug Buysse replied, “The purpose of the game is to give the alumni a reason to come back and get together. With St. Joe being closed, my former teammates and I are always looking for a reason to get together.”
Spectators could feel the energy pouring out of the alumni dugout throughout the course of the game. In turn, they could feel the energy coming from the current Titans as well.
“For me, personally, I love seeing all those guys come back, and from a program standpoint, I think it is important for the current guys to see that the alumni want to come back,” Buysse said.
Coach Buysse is constantly preaching brotherhood and togetherness for his teams, and as the alumni poured back into the city that they bled, sweat and gave everything to during their time at IU South Bend, it gave the current players that push to do the same thing.
“I think it is important because it shows that even if you don’t have [life] all figured out, that guys that were in that situation before me were able to figure it out”, current senior pitcher Jackson Kreuger said when asked about the importance of the game.
That sentiment travelled throughout the whole team. Every one of the current players said the same things: It’s nice to see guys like them, guys that were in their shoes as little as last year or five years ago, that in the end, life is going to work itself out.
It’s about hope when looking at what this game means to this program. The alumni hope that they have the opportunity to come back and meet their old teammates. The coaching staff hopes to see all the student athletes they worked with come back and be successful in their own lives. The current players see that there is hope and that if they feel lost, the guys before them have been in the same position and have felt the same way.