By: Phillip Lutz, Sports Editor
The 2017-2018 season has been something new for UM-Dearborn baseball head coach Matt Cunningham.
Hired in 2016 to lead the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s first-ever baseball team, he had to get to work quickly to recruit a roster.
It hasn’t been easy for the Wolverines in their inaugural campaign. The UM-Dearborn men’s baseball team has an overall record of 3-20 and a WHAC record of 1-14.
The baseball team recently got their first Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) win on March 18 as they defeated the Aquinas College Saints 10-6. It was a huge milestone for such a young team.
“We have played a lot of close games–even went into extra innings twice,” Cunningham said. “We played some really tough competition in Florida and that helped us get that first win.”
Cunningham also acknowledged the tough competition the Wolverines have been up against in their first season as a varsity program.
“The WHAC is one of the toughest conferences in the country with three of the teams ranked in the top 40,” he said. “We are a very young team.” Cunningham said, “Most of our guys are still adjusting to just being college students, let alone learning to play and grind at the college level.”
Some of the things they are working on is their pitching staff because it is made up of mostly freshmen. “They are coming along well and cutting their teeth at the college level. They’re catching up to the speed of the college ball game.”
Through the process, Cunningham has been able to see players that rise above.
“Junior Daniel Kerr is a good steal for us with his leadership as a catcher and a captain,” Cunningham said. “He is a 4.0 student and has a big presence on the field.”
Kerr is hitting .317 and leads the Wolverines with 19 runs batted in this year. He posts a .947 fielding percentage after starting every game this year.
But overall, the goal for the Wolverines in their early stages are to develop their young talent.
“Everyone gets their chance with us,” Cunningham said, “because we’re a young team.”