The 2018-2019 school year at Grand Rapids Community College has been filled with extreme weather conditions, and the GRCC baseball team is the latest to experience mother nature’s wrath.
The baseball team is currently in Florida for spring training getting some games under their belt in what’s supposed to be better weather than Michigan offers this time of year. Yesterday, however, the Raiders had to take a detour on their way back to Marianna, Florida where the team is staying to wait out a tornado warning.
“We were about to head back from our game at TCC (Tallahassee Community College) and we heard of the tornadoes near our hotel,” sophomore shortstop Brady Paganelli said. “So we drove around FSU’s (Florida State University) campus and took shelter with the campus police for about an hour and a half till the storm passed.”
Raiders’ head coach Mike Eddington said the team was heading west back to their hotel which meant they would have been heading directly into the tornado’s path. The team decided instead to stop and kill some time with help of the FSU campus police.
“(We) just finished our game,” Eddington said. “Bus driver said tornado’s (an) hour and 30 minutes away directly west heading our way. We had to drive 60 miles west towards the tornado. We decided to visit Florida State University. They let us take a tour of (the) baseball field and campus police told us we could take cover in their office area until (the) tornado warning was over. Campus police was awesome… Great experience visiting FSU.”
In late August of 2018, the GRCC volleyball team was in Hawaii for some preseason games. While they were there, Hurricane Lane hit the islands forcing the team to take cover and delaying their return back to Grand Rapids.
GRCC’s first day of the 2018 fall semester was also impacted by extreme weather as well. A severe storm hit West Michigan causing 65,000 people to lose power including GRCC. The Calkins Science Center and parts of other campus buildings lost power delaying the first day of school for many students.
More recently, the school and its basketball teams were affected by the polar vortex. In February, GRCC was forced to close its doors for an entire week due to heavy snowfall and dangerously cold temperatures. The men’s and women’s basketball teams each had to reschedule three games. This forced them to play a loaded schedule at the end of the regular season.
The baseball team will be in Tallahassee once again today as they are scheduled to play TCC at 3:30 p.m.