Seniors say farewell

Written By Adelyn Biedenbach

For Joe Cox, who has played baseball since the age of six, the end of his college career would bring back memories of a game he has loved, including a game this season when his team played Malone University to a veritable standoff.
 Brandon Haburjak, another graduating senior, remembered his first at-bat homerun against Malone.
 For Dan Campbell, it is the friendships he made that will last a lifetime, while Jesse Pesanka looked back and said he would not do anything differently.
 “If I had another chance to come back, I would definitely do it again,” Pesanka, a senior elementary education major, said.
 These four Point Park University seniors, along with senior Seth Martin, may not have reached the record books with this season’s matchups with a record of 13-26 overall, but nevertheless look back on their college baseball careers with satisfaction as they prepare to graduate and move on in life.
 “I will definitely miss hanging out with the team every day the most,” Campbell, a senior civil engineering major, said in an e-mail interview. “Since college kids are on their own for the first time in their life, the most important people around them are their teammates. They are the people that help you get through every day and know how to have a good time.”
 All five graduating players went to high school in the greater Pittsburgh area – with two students from Baldwin High School, two from Central Catholic High School and one from Penn Hills High School. Several of them chose Point Park for the chance to play college baseball, and to stay close to home.
 “I chose Point Park because it was close to home, it offered the major I was looking for and I could play baseball,” Campbell said.
 He was a first baseman this year, but played catcher for the previous three.
 He said the one thing he enjoyed most during his time here was the friends he made. The baseball team members have developed friendships on and off the team. His time at Point Park helped him to continue and improve his game, as he now prepares to play on summer teams and possibly coach someday.
 “I love the game. It’s really a passion for me,” Cox, a senior business management major, said.
 One game that Cox, a native of Swissvale, Pa., especially remembered was playing against the Malone Pioneers, who are currently ranked third in the American Mideast Conference (AMC), on March 26 of this year.
 “They were ranked really high and going up against that and being able to stick with them really stays in my mind,” Cox said. The game went eight innings, and in the end, Point Park lost 2-1. But Cox remembered the fight the team put up and was proud of his team.
 Other team members have memories that originated from games played against Malone in previous years, as well.
 “My freshman year, my first at-bat, I hit a home run against Malone,” Haburjak, a senior biology major, said.
 It is a memory from his time playing on the baseball team that he will not soon forget, he added.
 Haburjak, who plays catcher, was also honored by being named team captain this year, being chosen by his coaches and teammates. He will pursue a Master’s degree in biotechnology and hopes to continue playing baseball.
 “It’s been a good experience. All of the guys on the team are really great,” he said.
Haburjak and possibly other team members will be playing in the Pittsburgh Baseball Federation League, which is a semi-professional adult summer league created for those who wish to continue competing.
 Pesanka remembers this season’s kick-off matchups at the Russ Matt Invitational in Auburndale, Fla.
 “A few of us hit homeruns and won the game,” Pesanka said.
 This all happened after a heated back-and-forth matchup during their team’s spring trip.
Pesanka, a right fielder, scored a home run and said that game was one he would remember for quite awhile.
 With a roster of about 24 players, the team’s loss of five seniors could have significant repercussions.
 “Somebody’s going to have to step up,” Pesanka said.
He said the seniors are usually the team’s leaders, but he is confident in the underclassmen’s ability to step up and fill that role.
 “The future of Point Park baseball looks bright,” Haburjak said. “The program is heading in the right direction.”