Team play, confidence keep the baseball team rolling


Christopher Le

Player Harrison Boushele pitches on Saturday, April 22, 2023.

Timothy Wallis

For junior Harrison Boushele, winning awards is nothing new. The Augie baseball pitcher won the CCIW Pitcher of the Week award for the fourth time this year in just nine weeks. However, the excitement of success never goes away for Boushele. 

“I mean, it is really just true accomplishment. I mean, it is kind of so surreal, knowing what that comes from,” Boushele said. “And I remember winning my first one two years ago, my freshman year. That feeling is just so cool; it just never gets old.”

So far on the season, in 63.2 innings pitched, Boushele has a 6-2 record, 89 strikeouts, and an incredible 1.27 earned run average. In games when Boushele pitches, the Vikings have outscored their opponents 94-33. His impressive start to the season has provided a spark for the rest of the team and has not gone unrecognized by his teammates. 

One teammate that recognized his team-first attitude was junior Tony Sus.

“I feel very confident that we can come out with a win whenever Harrison’s up there on the mound, and I think a lot of our team does too,” Sus said.

However, Boushele’s primary focus is not on personal awards. His goal is to help the team as much as possible with his pitching and be a great teammate in the clubhouse. 

“Especially personally, he has been super successful, and he has not let that get in the way of him being a great teammate. He knows that the team always comes first. I know that he would trade all the awards that he is getting for a national championship and anything in between that,” Andy Shover, a senior on the team, said. 

Boushele’s stellar pitching is just the tip of the iceberg for the Vikings team this year. 

The Vikings sit atop the conference in first place, inching closer to one of the team’s main goals, winning the regular season conference title. 

“Our goal every year is to win conference. Last year, we ended up winning conference and made it into regionals. So I think this year we’re holding ourselves to a higher standard,” Sus said. 

Winning the conference, however, is not the team’s largest goal; it is bigger than that. After the conference tournament, things start to ramp up in regionals and, later, the Division-III World Series. 

“We really want to win the regular season title so we can host conference at our place but not only win the conference tournament but go be really competitive in regionals and ultimately make our way to Cedar Rapids, where the DIII World Series is, that is our main goal,” Sus said.

There was a palpable buzz around the program coming into the season, and with expectations set high for the team, they did not let that get to their heads. 

Head coach Greg Wallace was not bothered by the expectations set for the team and was very confident in their play. 

“I believe there was an excitement coming on last year with a good number of guys returning and a very experienced group that we felt comfortable going into the season that we could meet the goals that we set for the program year in and year out,” Wallace said.

That experience the team has is essential for a multitude of reasons. That experience can create leaders in the locker room who can help keep the whole team focused throughout the season. Experience also keeps the team locked in and ready for anything come post-season, which is quickly approaching. 

As the regular season winds down, the Vikings are sure to keep taking it one day at a time and not look too far ahead in the schedule. 

“We usually take things one step at a time, take every game at a time because winning or losing one game and conference can come back and bite you,” Sus said.