ANDERSON — Four years ago the Anderson University baseball team had claimed its eighth Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season title in 25 years — just its second in 13 years.
The Ravens are now nearing the midway point of their best start to the season in recent memory with an overall record of 12-5, including having taken five of the seven against HCAC foes.
A conference title is the first goal coach David Pressley sets for the Ravens.
“To win the conference, you get to host the tournament and obviously you have to win that tournament to make sure you get to a regional,” Pressley said. “We know we are going to have to win 17-to-20 games in the conference to do that so that is our goal.”
The Ravens are in the midst of their HCAC schedule, with Indiana Wesleyan (9-17) being the lone non-conference game left. Anderson sits in a second place tie with Manchester University, just two games behind Rose-Hulman.
A unique schedule has Anderson playing its next nine games on the road beginning on Friday, followed by 10 straight at Don Brandon Field.
“Guys get to relax,” Pressley said about playing at home. “It usually means a little extra rest and easier with classes with all that stuff. We like to own (Don Brandon Field). Hopefully we can sweep a couple series late and own our home field.”
Their remaining opponents have a combined 78-79 record. Three of seven conference teams Anderson will face have sub-.500 records, which accounts for nine games.
“A conference championship is not something a lot of teams get to experience,” senior first baseman Zack Hufferd said. “I would love it for this group of guys to win a championship together and feel what that is like.”
Key matchups on the road to a championship includes Rose-Hulman, on the road on Tuesday and at home on the 22nd and a rematch at Manchester on the 15th.