The UMBC men’s basketball team isn’t the only Retrievers program with recent NCAA tournament experience.
The baseball team is coming off a trip to the big dance. And they’re back on the diamond this year looking to do it again.
“The biggest thing is we know that we’ve been there already before so we know that it’s definitely doable,” said UMBC third baseman Christian Torres.
This is a different group of Dogs than last year’s America East Conference winners. They are a younger team with more bite.
“We’re a really scrappy group,” said UMBC pitcher Mitchell Wilson. “We find ways, at the end of the day, to compete in games. It’s a close game innings one through nine and we find a way to win at the end.”
“Talk to anyone who has won a championship and the hardest thing is - repeating is really difficult. But, I think our guys have done a good job of working hard and they know that goal has been set by last year’s team that the goal is to get back to that championship game and give ourselves a chance to win it,” said UMBC Head Coach Bob Mumma.
It’s been a rough start for the Retrievers. They’re 7-15 overall. But they’re 4-2 in conference
“It’s a been a good mix of some really tough competition early and hopefully we’re seeing some dividends in the league,” added Mumma.
You can’t come to campus without talking about the newfound recognition the UMBC athletics program is receiving after that historic NCAA Tournament run by the men’s basketball team. Their baseball brethren are feeling it too.
“Over spring break we had gone to IHOP and the busboys were talking to us about UMBC,” said Torres. “At first they were like ‘I really never heard of you guys until I saw the basketball game’. Now we walk around and people see our shirts. They congratulate us and stuff. So, it’s a pretty cool feeling to our athletics to come up and finally be appreciated.”
The Retrievers men’s hoops team defeated Virginia in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament to become the first No. 16 seed in history to defeat a No. 1 seed.
UMBC baseball is back on the diamond on Tuesday when they host Maryland Eastern Shore at 6:00 p.m.