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Baseball banquet commemorates past, present squads

Sports Reporter

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 11:01

Connor Hyde | The Houstonian

Connor Hyde | The Houstonian

With two weeks left before opening day, Bearkat baseball supporters and alumni will congregate to sponsor the 2013 season with a pre-season fundraiser banquet at the Lowman Student Center Saturday.

Sam Houston State baseball will hold an alumni game preceding their annual fundraiser dinner in an attempt to fund field renovations and supplies for the upcoming season.

The Bearkats are aiming for $60,000 assistant baseball coach Philip Miller said.

“We have to pay for a lot of stuff to get this stuff done,” Miller said. “It’ll be our last thing before the season starts. Once we start playing we kind of get tunnel vision…we’d like to get [the] dugouts painted. We’ve had the backstop pad redone [and] they’re going to pad our entire outfield wall before the season.”

Miller and head coach David Pierce are anticipating enough alumni to hold two games catering to two different age groups at Don Sanders Stadium. Older alumni will play older alumni, and younger alumni will play the current team, Miller said.

During the banquet, mass communication professor Frank Krystyniak will honor the 50th anniversary commemorating the 1963 NAIA National Champion Bearkat baseball team; a group with four consecutive championship appearances. Krystyniak followed the 1963 team as a sports reporter for The Houstonian.

According to Krystyniak, perseverance and consistency distinguishes the 1963 ball club.

“The fact that they’ve gone to the NAIA three years previously, they kept trying until they won,” Krystyniak said. “I think there’s a lot to be admired on this team. Three players went on to serve in Vietnam…one of the things I’ll do is tell the players now about what they’ve done out of college.”

SHSU Athletic Director Bobby Williams applauses the former championship program alongside the current Bearkat squad.

“It’s time to merge the success of our past with the success of our current program,” Williams said. “When you get two generations in the sport of baseball, when they’re around each other, though a little different the attitude is still the same.”

Before the banquet commences, donors are encouraged to participate bidding on sports memorabilia, spa packages, and gift certificates in the silent auction, Miller said. A live auction will succeed the dinner at 9 p.m. where prizes will range from hunting trips to leisure getaways.

Only 35 tables are available and each seat 10 individuals. Prices are $1,000 per table and $100 per plate. A cash bar will be available beginning the event at 5 p.m.

Reservations are available to first call, first serve through University Advancement.

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