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Fresh cut grass and the crack of the bat! Man oh man it's great to back! The MLB season has come to a close, and the Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions. That means in a few months college baseball will start yet another season, and our Hilltoppers will retake the field in the spring. Our baseball team is working hard towards another Heartland Conference Tournament Championship, and another appearance in the regional playoffs fighting towards the teams first Division 2 College World Series appearance.
Many players work together to make this dream become a reality every season. It is not hard to spot a baseball player on campus from the same shirt and hat they all wear what seems to be every day. There is one player that ditches the dry fit t-shirt and ball cap for a suit and tie every Wednesday night. Senior international business major Jacob Zertuche is an SGA senator and a first baseman for the baseball team.
"I was looking for a way to be more involved with campus," says Zertuche.
Baseball takes up a massive chunk of his time during the week. Zertuche usually has to block off time between noon to four for baseball during the week. The team is usually in the weight room or hitting during the offseason. Though once the season starts they have four-game series over the weekends.
"I wanted to make more connections and meet more people outside of baseball," says Zertuche. "And so I felt that Student Government would be a cool way to give back to St. Edward's because I felt like I had some creative ideas that can help future generations of students."
Zertuche is currently working on a bill for the SGA. This bill sets out to help St. Edward's ROTC student with managing attendance policies for the classes they miss.
"Because St. Edward's is a smaller school, they don't have an ROTC program itself. So students who want to be involved in that have to go to UT," says Zertuche. "With some of the teacher's policies as far as attendance they only excuse for St. Edward's events, but because ROTC isn't apart of St. Edward's there is a conflict there."
Another thing he is working on is selling alcohol at on-campus sporting events. "I feel like it could also boost student participation at our games. Being a student-athlete, it's always great to have student and your friends coming out to support, at a smaller D2 it's hard to get students out there. I was trying to think how I can benefit the student-athletes, the people I know, and connecting that to the student population," says Zertuche.
"He's good about making sure that people know he is committed to this," says Leslie Rios, the Vice President of SGA. "Jacob is a very easy going person. So he is very easy to talk to, and he is very passionate about what he does."
Not many athletes get to step beyond their sport and become involved in the St. Edward's community like Zertuche has. Zertuche got more out of baseball than what he learned on the field. "Its been a little frustrating at times, but also its been really rewarding in other ways. Its really helped me with my time management skills. If you're not on top of your schedule it will get on top of you," says Zertuche.
"He is very into relationships with our team. He's really good at forming friendships with them and making us flow together," says Ryan Hill, another senior on the baseball team.
Zertuche takes many lessons from his experiences with his team and is the same way off the field as he is on. As the Hilltoppers prepare for another season, this will be Zertuche's last. He works hard every day on the field, in the classroom, and during Senate meetings to make the most of his senior year. He hopes to move on to law school after leaving the hilltop if the majors do not draft him.
"Realistically it's not going to happen," says Zertuche. "Yeah if they ask, if they come callin' I'm not going to say no. But, right now the plan is to study for law school."