UT Club Baseball Team Travels to Florida for NCBA Tournament
Mar 21, 2024

UT Club Baseball Team Travels to Florida for NCBA Tournament

Reporting Texas TV

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – The University of Texas club baseball team spent Spring Break playing in the “Swing into Spring” tournament run by the National Club Baseball Association.

Club teams must play at least one non-conference game a season, so this tournament fulfills that requirement while also allowing players to compete against schools they otherwise wouldn’t play.

UT returned home victorious as they beat Ohio State 4-3 and Purdue 8-1.

The University of Texas club baseball team celebrates in front of the Publix Sports Complex in Panama City Beach, Florida, on March 13, 2024. The Longhorns beat teams from Ohio State and Purdue in the National Club Baseball Association’s “Swing into Spring” tournament. (Photo Courtesy of Brandon Huffman)

This experience gives those like Brian Muller, the UT club baseball president and a pitcher on the team, a chance to continue playing.

In his high school years, Muller was on track to play college baseball. However, after experiencing extreme back pain that slowly started to spread its way throughout his body, he knew something was wrong.

After multiple visits, doctors diagnosed him with Lyme disease.

Muller’s health prevented him from being able to play baseball for his sophomore and junior years, which ultimately hindered his success in advancing his skills to prepare for D1 baseball.

“My body had just become too weak and was in too much pain to actually play competitive baseball,” Muller said. “I wasn’t in the shape or the form I needed to be and to compete at such a high level.”

His former high school baseball teammate Alec Baltz said Muller continued to work hard despite his health condition.

“It was weird seeing him not active and down in the dumps. But I know he’s pretty optimistic. There’s a silver lining at the end of it,” Baltz said.

That was when Muller found UT’s club baseball team as a freshman. Muller started as the team’s travel manager, taking responsibility for booking the team’s hotels for travel games and planning service events. Last season, he ran for president and currently holds the position.

Brian Muller pitches for the University of Texas club baseball team in a game against Texas State at East Metropolitan Park in Manor, Texas, on Feb. 26, 2024. UT won 16-6. (Paulina Pearson/Reporting Texas TV)

Muller attributes his success to the team’s catcher and former president, Jacob Foster. Foster said that while he loves playing baseball, he appreciates the environment of the team and the friendships everyone has formed.

“Once Brian came onto the team, it was pretty easy to recognize that he had leadership qualities and that he was really invested in the team. The other guys on the team looked up to him,” Foster said.

UT club baseball’s ultimate goal is to win the NCBA World Series, which takes place May 24-30. To qualify, the team has to win its conference by having the best record or getting an at-large bid. That is when the playoff committee determines that a team is the best in its region despite not winning its conference.

The other teams in Texas’ conference are Texas A&M, Texas State, Stephen F. Austin, and Baylor.

Muller is a junior and will continue to soak up his last couple of seasons with the team as his baseball journey will soon come to an end.

“Every single game we play, every single team we face, our goal is to win,” Muller said, “We find a way to win one way or another.”