Lone Senior Leads by Example

As postseason tournaments approach, the MVNU baseball team (21-20-0) is sitting in the middle of the Crossroads League.

Coach Keith Veale said “things have been up and down as far as results thus far.”

The team has been doing well at the plate, but “we’ve struggled more on the defensive side of the ball than I thought we would,” Veale said.

Some significant injuries have also set the team back this season, Veale said.

Leading the team into battle this year is lone senior outfielder, designated hitter and first baseman Jesse Staudt.

“Jesse is having a great senior season to date,” Veale said.

Heading into today’s game, Staudt is batting .372 and is leading the Crossroads

League with 12 home runs and is tied for first in the league with 40 RBI.

Staudt transferred to MVNU his junior year from Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania.

“It’s weird knowing that I am the only player who will definitely not be playing on the team next year,” he said.

Being a veteran and the lone senior, Staudt said he tries to lead by showing up every day, working hard and being mentally prepared for every situation.

"The best leadership skill Jesse brings to the team is his consistency day in and day out,” Veale said. “He is respected by his teammates and we know that he will show up every day ready to compete.”

In spite of the “ups and downs” of his two seasons at MVNU, “I have loved being able to be around the guys on the team and I love getting the chance to go out and compete with them,” Staudt said.

Throughout his college baseball career, Staudt has learned that being a student-athlete is much harder than he originally thought it would be.

“I have also learned how important it is to cherish every opportunity that I get to play baseball,” Staudt said, “since not a lot of people get the opportunity to play sports past high school.”

Staudt said he learned along the way not to take anything for granted.

“Four years seems like a long time, but it goes by a lot quicker than it seems,” he said.

Staudt is a sports management major, and after college, he would like to be a college baseball coach.

Junior Ashton Myers gets psyched to take the field during introductions before the final home game of the season against Indiana Wesleyan University.

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