FARMVILLE, VA. – A case of the Mondays in college baseball usually means something completely different than it does for most people. Monday is the beginning of the work week, the start of the school week, and far from the promise of joy that the weekend brings
For college baseball players Monday means a chance to recover from a weekend of games and a chance to rest before the mid-week gauntlet begins. Aside from the rare makeup for a rain-postponed game, which the Lancers faced earlier in the season at Charleston Southern, Mondays mean a day away from the intensity of a collegiate baseball game. For Longwood baseball, this past Monday also meant a trip to The Woodland, an assisted living community in Farmville, to make the day of dozens of residents
A day after the Lancers played a doubleheader to wrap up a three-game set against Campbell on the diamond and a day before they travelled to take on Norfolk State, the baseball team was represented by 18 players and head coach Ryan Mau at The Woodland. The team met with the residents during their late-afternoon meal, were introduced one-by-one by Mau, and sat down at tables with the residents during the afternoon
“It was an amazing afternoon being able to spend time with the senior residents of The Woodland,” Mau said after his team’s trip to the assisted living community. “I’m proud of our players who volunteered their off-day to make a difference in our community.
The team spent an hour talking with the seniors, covering a wide array of topics stemming from how Farmville had changed over the years, how Longwood was different from when a number of the residents studied at the university, and delving into other topics aboutfamily, life adventures, and, of course, baseball
“We had some great conversations taking place, and the room wasn’t short on laughter, either,” Mau said. “Especially when a resident asked 6-foot-9 pitcher Eric Harp, ‘How are the clouds up there?’
After arriving at 4 p.m., the players lined up outside the dining room inside the main building, the Moore Center, and walked out one at a time as Mau announced his “starting lineup.” After chatting for an hour with the residents, the team, joined by Elwood, posed for a group photo with everyone who wanted their picture taken. The team returned to the dining hall and spent another few minutes in conversation before it was time to leave
“I hope we positively impacted a few people today because, I can assure you, they all had a major impact on us,” Mau said
The following day the Lancers played a road game at Norfolk State, winning 13-5 against the Spartans. The 13 runs tied the season high for Longwood, and the Lancers picked up 12 hits in the decisive victory. Longwood (24-18, 8-7 Big South) is in the middle of one of its best seasons since joining the Division I ranks in 2008. The Lancers sit two wins shy of their best win total since joining the Big South in 2012. The Lancers won 26 games in the 2013 season
It may not be a daily occurrence for seniors to interact with a group of college baseball players, but then again the 2016 Longwood baseball team is not your typical club. With a 10-3 record in one-run games, five walk-off wins, and an 18-7 record in Farmville, the Lancers are certainly one of a kind.
Note: this story is contributed by:
Assistant Director of Athletic Communications for New Media