The 2022 season for College of the Desert’s baseball team has been historic. For the first time in 51 years, the Roadrunners earned the Inland Empire Athletic Conference Title under first-year head coach, Sam DiMatteo.
“We didn’t have much room to slip up to tell you the truth, we didn’t have much wiggle room to lose any games. So with all of that pressure, and to do what they did, man, unbelievable.”
This squad is made up of players from all over the country and didn’t have a 2020 season due to the pandemic. The 2022 season was the first time these players got together, and they bonded quickly.
“Our guys really trust each other,” says the Roadrunner’s shortstop, Dillon Baker, “it showed in prior games like San Bernardino was real chirpy, and everyone had each other’s back. We didn’t even need to react because we knew we had everybody behind us.”
Through the high and low points of the 24-game regular season, first baseman Jaxon Millet explains how the team was able to stick together, even when faced with adversity.
“We told each other, you know, on and off the field, it’s gonna be hard, but as long as we bond as a family, when we’re here together, then we can get anything done.”
🏆2022 IEAC CHAMPIONS!🏆
College of the Desert ROADRUNNERS ⚾️🌴☀️@COD_Athletics
GO ROADRUNNERS💯 pic.twitter.com/AUErNs55TM
— COD Baseball (@CODbaseball22) April 27, 2022
Kenny Keller, left-handed pitcher and most recent IEAC player of the week, explains that the motto behind this season was “family” and that strong chemistry both on and off the field ultimately contributed to their team’s success.
“I preach it every day. I mean, if you don’t have a family and you’re not fighting for each other then there’s nothing to fight for, to be honest.”
Coach DiMatteo and his coaching staff did a lot of work two years prior to the season even starting, recruiting the right kind of players to build a successful program at College of the Desert. Seeing this success after just one year is a full-circle moment for the Roadrunners’ coaching staff.
“You know, it takes a lot of work to get to the end like this, we just kind of guide everyone in the right direction, and they truly did it.”
Up next for the Roadrunners, are the playoffs.