UT Club Sports: Baseball

By percentage, the Longhorns are the winningest program in college baseball history and hold the records for most appearances in the College World Series (33) and most individual CWS games won (82). They have won six National Championships (1949, 1950, 1975, 1983, 2002, and 2005)  and have appeared in the Championship Game/Series six other times (1953, 1984, 1985, 1989, 2004, and 2009). Texas has won 75 regular season conference championships and 15 conference tournament championships in baseball.

The University of Texas Club Baseball team

But they aren’t the only baseball program in town, nor are they the only ones to win an National Championship in the past decade. The UT Club Baseball Team also hold that honor with the inaugural championship of the National Club Baseball Association in 2001.

Earlier I wrote about the UT men’s soccer club and the fact that they were the highest level of soccer at the University. While the UT Club baseball team is not, you have to consider that the aforementioned stats about the NCAA varsity program. In perspective, being the third most talented catcher on the 40 acres might mean that you are somewhere below two All-Americans and future professionals.  Not too shabby.

Club team catcher Woody Apfel

t the plate for the Longhorns

Woody Apfel, the Vice President of the club and it’s starting catcher, is no slouch. He’s been playing for nearly 16 years. His counterpart on the Longhorn baseball team is Cameron Rupp, who is on the pre-season Johnny Bench award watch list and was named to the College World Series Tournament team last season. Apfel wasn’t offered a scholarship by the University, coming from the small town of Alvarado, Texas, but did receive a spot after walking on. However, Apfel wouldn’t have a scholarship and realized he may not ever see the field, so he opted to seek out the club team.

That team plays in the Gulf Coast Region of the NCBA – A division of CollClubSports. The League is comprised of 119 Division I teams & 61 Divsion II teams, from all across the country and they all take America’s favorite pastime pretty seriously. This isn’t some Intramural league. It culminates in the NCBA World Series in May, with both divisions producing a champion. The organization has only been around since 2001, but Texas is one of just 6 teams to win the Division I championship.

According to the NCBA’s website, the two types of institutions that field club teams are schools that either can’t sponsor NCAA varsity baseball (often due to Title IX restrictions) and schools that do have a varsity team, but also have enough demand to field a second team. Texas obviously falls into the latter.

The team versus the rival Aggies

Coming off a season where they finished ranked #19 in the nation and narrowly missed out on making the big tournament – the Longhorns are currently ranked #18 and hoping to make it to the world series. In order to do that they must win their Regional, where they would face the other 7 regional champions in Ft. Meyers, Florida.

So come out and support your fellow Horns. The team plays around 25 games during the regular season, and plays their home games at Zaragosa Park, about 10 minutes from campus. They have 6 more home games and only a month before Regionals begin!

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