Campus community celebrates baseball's national championship from a distance

It took a little longer than expected but by day’s end the Marietta College Pioneers clinched the 2011 Division III World Series Championship, besting Chapman University Panthers 18-5.

“This team has had an extraordinary season and I believed, before I even came (to Grand Chute, Wis.), that this was a team poised to win it all,” says Marietta College President Jean Scott, who traveled to Grand Chute, Wis., to watch the games during the long Memorial Day weekend. An avid baseball fan, Dr. Scott wanted to support the Etta Express during the run for their fifth national title.


While a small caravan of fans traveled to Wisconsin to root on the Etta Express in person, there were also many students, staff and faculty who showed their support from their work desks by either watching the games live through the NCAA video feed or through WMOA radio.


Debbie Stodberg and John Davis kept the games playing on their computers Tuesday afternoon. “We’re behind the team 100 percent,” Stodberg says. “I am very proud of our players.”


Admittedly a little superstitious about baseball, Stodberg began watching the games Tuesday with her “Rally Hat,” but soon removed it when the Etta Express struggled during their first game against the Panthers.


Lisa Huck, who works in the Business Office, has watched all of the Pioneer games since Friday. “The Internet reception has been great,” she says. “It’s been nice to watch them play.” She has been exchanging text messages with her coworker Robin Eschbaugh, who traveled to Wisconsin for the games.


From his internship in Niles, Ohio, Chris Miller ’12 (Zanesville, Ohio) kept tabs on Marietta’s success on the field. The broadcast journalism major announces Pioneer athletics during the academic year. A former baseball player and a fan of the game, Miller is currently a production intern with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a Class Single A minor league organization with the Cleveland Indians.


“I couldn't be more excited to watch and listen to the Etta Express as they have made their journey to World Series,” Miller says. “You always see them during the course of a year working hard and with where they are right now, it’s obvious how hard they have been going at it. I would give almost anything right now to be in Appleton to see them play, but unfortunately I can't be there. So I’m glued to my computer watching as they pave their way into Marietta history.”


Miller commended Marietta’s strong pitching for consistently making it hard for opponents to get on the board. He also expressed a great sense of pride in the entire athletics program at Marietta.


“This year has been outstanding to be a Pioneer. The success of individuals in track, the men's basketball team making it to the sweet 16 round, and now the baseball team trying for their record fifth national championship. You look around the OAC, and even in Division III, and you'll be hard pressed to find another place that has had success as much as Marietta this year.”