Matt Creeger has a lot of balls in the air. Soon, some of them could be in his baseball glove, too.
Creeger, a senior, is helping start the first UC Merced baseball team. He said he got involved after seeing fliers posted around campus last year and found there were eight others who wanted to play.
They don’t have equipment or a coach, and if they wanted to practice on the campus recreation field, they’d run the risk of slamming some baseballs into the dining commons or a car window in the Lake lot or smacking a nearby cow.
But that’s not stopping the team, which held tryouts a few weeks ago and had 15 more students join.
Now that the university’s sports program is starting up, Creeger, 22, from Mission Viejo, said he’s excited to see what’s going to happen.
“We take it seriously and we want to compete,” he said, though he and his teammates know it’s not an NCAA sport here yet.
The newness of UC Merced hasn’t stopped Creeger from pursuing any of his dreams. He was a psychology major at community college, and said he stayed with that discipline here because his first choice, public policy, wasn’t yet available. But he spent his spring interning with Assemblywoman Barbara Matthews, D-Tracy, and his summer interning with the state Legislature.
A psychology background, he said, will serve him well in just about any career he chooses.
Though he said his intention isn’t to run for public office, last spring he found himself on the ballot here at UC Merced after helping draft the student constitution. He’s now the student body’s external vice president, acting as a liaison between the associated students and community groups and organizations.
Creeger will be among the second class of UC Merced graduates and is planning to take a year off before starting law school.
His final semester, he imagines, will be slightly less hectic, with only two classes, student government and spring training with the baseball team.
Leaving him plenty of time to practice his pitching, catching and batting.