By Josh Wolmer & Nico Manganiello – 1851 Contributor & Digital Sports Editor
For the first time since 2011, the baseball team has a sophomore captain. Bryan Baumann has stepped into a leadership role on a young team that features 14 first-years and 11 sophomores.
“When I was recruiting him, almost more important than his baseball talents were his leadership talents,” said head coach Bill Uberti.
Baumann’s role is something he does not take for granted. “It’s kind of the highest compliment of them all that a lot of these guys trust me to lead them and be the right example,” said the criminal justice major. “It just means a lot to me that they trust me with that kind of power.”
Being a leader so early in his career has presented challenges, but none he hasn’t been able to overcome. “It’s definitely weird because it is my first full college season,” said Baumann. “I kind of learned to deal with it and to make the [distinction] between friendship and leadership at the same time. [I] try to keep an even balance. Don’t get too friendly, but don’t be rude at the same time.”
The sophomore has thrived in the role and it has positively affected his game. “It’s definitely like another level of competitiveness I feel like I need to have,” said Baumann. “Just to show them what it takes to compete.”
When asked about making Baumann a captain, Uberti said it was an easy one. “Bryan is someone who gets things done. He’ll never walk by a piece of equipment and not pick it up. He is always on time, works extremely hard, is extremely diligent, and a leader,” said the Head Coach.
“He is someone that a lot of people look up to,” said Uberti. “I’d say his consistency is something he’s just so good at, you know, it’s just every day he’s the kind of the same person. Every day, he resets and has that blue-collar approach.”
On the field, Baumann provides significant value. Baumann played 32 games in his first year, primarily at second base. Then, in 2022, first-year second baseman Jordan Martinez, who’s batting .333 with 12 RBIs, joined the team. Wanting Martinez in the lineup, Uberti asked Baumann to move to the outfield, a request he willingly accepted.
“[He] can play anywhere, which is also phenomenal for me. It makes my life a lot easier for sure,” said Uberti.
Off the field, he has impacted first-year Pierce Clare and sophomore Derek Lallo. Being roommates with Baumann has benefitted both players’ studies. According to Uberti, Baumann ensures Lallo does not go to bed without completing his work.
“Baumann gave me tips on how to manage my school work and baseball,” said Clare. “It has made a huge difference because after having a rocky semester school-wise…I feel much more confident and controlled this spring semester.”
Baumann will be an integral part of the team moving forward this season as he is batting .312 with 18 RBIs on the season. With conference games coming up and playoffs, the young squad will battle their hearts out on the diamond.