Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Paden ready to take charge this season

Chico_La_Barbera, Whitewater Athletics

As the summer months come closer and closer each day, the baseball season is in full swing as the baseball team enters their second week of the season down in Pasadena, Florida, this weekend. Just a week ago, the team finished with a 2-2 record against Trinity (Texas). One of the players that had a great start down in Texas was Sam Paden, a junior hitter from Libertyville, Illinois. Paden had five runs, five hits, two RBI’s, 11 total bases and two home runs in the four-game series against Trinity. Paden reflected on his progress throughout his three years at UW-Whitewater and what he expects going forward this year. 


Q: What sparked your interest in baseball?

A: When I was a kid, I played all kinds of sports. I was a football, hockey and baseball player. Eventually, that turned into just football and baseball. I was best at baseball as it brought the competitor out in me. I was actually the first person in my family to pick up baseball as my father and grandfather both were big into football. 

Q: What aspects of a college did you want when looking to join a program?

A: I was looking for a competitive culture. A team that took winning seriously and could help me be my best. 

Q: What intrigued you most about Whitewater?

A: The atmosphere. It was really cool to be a part of a small college where athletics are really the tip-top in the way people perceive this school. For example, we have went on trips down south before where people will recognize us because of our football, baseball and basketball teams and I knew that this was going to be a fun stage to play on. 

Q: You’ve been here for a few years now, what is your favorite memory since you have been here while being on the baseball team?

A: Some of my favorite memories are when we get to the postseason. We are kind of the last team around that point on campus because school is out in early May and we are here typically until the beginning of June. Being with the guys on and off the field, its a really unique experience. 

Q: What are some things you have seen change during your time here?

A: This year we got two or three new assistant coaches. Along with that we have seen the coming and going of some of the guys with extra eligibility with Covid. This is probably the youngest team that we have had. 

Q: You just came off of a big weekend down in Texas, how was that experience?

A: For me, I would say that it’s a good start. Building confidence early on as a hitter is important, especially in my position as a designated hitter, so I sit on the bench while everyone else is out fielding, so it’s easy to fall into a little bit of a hole mentally and contradict myself. Starting off hot like that is definitely a positive thing for myself as we continue forward. 

Q: What is the team atmosphere like heading into the spring trip to Florida this upcoming weekend?

A: I think it is the best it’s ever been since I’ve been here. Everybody has the same goal at the end of the day. This is a team that is united, a team that is passionate about what we’re doing here. Everybody is locked in. 


The Warhawks opened their spring trip on March 1o against McMurry, and will play eight games over the next week in Florida before returning to the midwest for a March 28 game in Dubuque, Iowa, against Loras College.


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Mason Thompson, Men's Sports Journalist

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