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Hillsdale College baseball players work together, gal­loping to first base. (Photo: Kaylee McGhee / Hillsdale Col­legian)

 

“Run, Forrest, run!”

Junior Chris Ack­erman, dressed as Forrest Gump, sprinted to first base after sending a fastball into center field. Staying true to the char­acter of his costume, Ack­erman con­tinued to sprint down the football field, even after reaching first base safely.

Ackerman’s costume was one of many lining the football field for the Hillsdale College baseball team’s annual Hal­loween game on Oct. 30.

According to head coach Eric Theisen, this is the fourth year the team has played a Hal­loween-themed game. The idea came from mul­tiple YouTube videos of several pro­grams doing some­thing similar, Theisen said.

“It looked like a good time and a break from the regular grind of prac­tices, so we decided to let loose a little bit and have a game of our own,” Theisen said in an email.

The game is a batting practice game, allowing players to switch up posi­tions. The light-hearted event is meant to cel­e­brate the end of the fall season, according to junior Ryan O’Hearn.

“It’s a way to end things on a high note and finish the [fall] season off with a bang,” O’Hearn said.

Cos­tumes ranged any­where from a garden gnome to a grape, but according to O’Hearn, the best cos­tumes are the ones people can act out.

Ack­erman said being able to act out his char­acter not only made his costume more obvious to the audience, but it also made the game more fun for him.

“Last year I didn’t really know what to expect, but this year I def­i­nitely felt like I was more pre­pared,” Ack­erman said.

According to O’Hearn, the players try not to reveal what their cos­tumes are, so they can sur­prise the audience, and each other.

“It’s become a thing where you keep it a secret,” O’Hearn said. “It gets everyone excited to see what everyone else will come up with.”

The Hal­loween game always draws a crowd, and this year was no exception. Parents, stu­dents, and local res­i­dents filled the stands to watch the players parade around in their cos­tumes, laughing at the more ridiculous ones.

“We didn’t really think it would draw so much attention,” Theisen said. “Orig­i­nally we just wanted the guys to have a little fun with it, but it’s become a pretty funny and enter­taining afternoon that people look forward to.”

Ack­erman said if he could change one thing about the game, it would be more pro­motion.

“The more of an audience there is, the more fun it is,” he said.

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Kaylee McGhee
Kaylee McGhee is a senior at Hillsdale College, majoring in Politics with a minor in Journalism. This is her fourth year writing for the Collegian and she serves as the paper's Opinions Editor. Kaylee worked in Washington D.C. last year and wrote for the Weekly Standard. Her work has also appeared in the Detroit News and the Orange County Register. Follow her on Twitter: @KayleeDMcGhee email: kmcghee@hillsdale.edu