The TLU baseball team presented the Mark Love Baseball Award to senior outfielder Kai Hendershot. The award honors a member of the TLU baseball team who demonstrates team leadership, charm, resilience, and dependability. This award honors the legacy of former TLU Baseball player Mark Love '80, who sadly passed away in 2020 after an 8-month battle with pancreatic cancer. In attendance presenting the award was his wife Leslie Love '81, their two daughters, Morgan, Taylor and their families, Board of Regent Tony Canty, and Head Baseball Coach Rick Heines.
With our donor's support, the Mark Love Baseball Endowment has reached a balance of more than $109,000 generating just over $7,600 in revenue for baseball operations this academic year. Head Coach Rick Heines used these funds to renovate and repair the batting cages providing high quality expanded practice space for the entire team. We are thankful for your generosity in memory of Mark Love.
"The Mark Love Award and Endowment has been a tremendous aspect of the TLU Baseball program for the past two years. As the players have come to understand the impact that Mark made on the program as a player, the award has come to signify a considerable role within the context of the team," said Head Coach Rick Heines. "The Endowment has helped the program pay for necessary expenses such as team travel and uniforms. In 2023, the endowment draw contributed to the reconfiguration of the batting cages, a project which has expanded the coaching staff's ability to develop players and will continue to do so over the years. Other key projects that are needed include an upgraded storage facility and a turf halo around the home plate area. My hope is that the Mark Love Endowment can also aid in completing these needed upgrades."
After the award presentation, Texas Lutheran Baseball picked up its first walk-off win of the season, beating Southwestern 6-5, to complete the sweep of the Pirates and clinch the 2023 SCAC Regular Season Championship at Katt-Isbel Field. TLU Baseball clinched the SCAC regular season title for the first time in program history (27-13, 17-4 SCAC). The 2023 Championship marks the fourth regular season championship and sixth SCAC Championship overall. Also with the win, TLU matched its best single-season conference winning percentage since joining the SCAC, going 17-4 (.810) for the second consecutive season.