OREM, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - There is something very special happening at Utah Valley University. The Wolverine baseball team has won 28 games in a row, the longest streak in the nation.
You might think the team wouldn't want to talk about the streak for fear of jinxing it, but they don't mind at all.
"Our coach actually came out one practice," said senior pitcher Josh Swenson, "and told us, 'We've got a streak on the line. I'm not a superstitious guy. I change my socks and my underwear everyday, so we're just going to go at them and play like we're supposed to.'"
"The biggest thing is, how many times do you have an opportunity to be involved in something like this?" said head coach Eric Madsen, whose team is ranked 27th in the country. "It's special and it doesn't happen very often, so you have to be able to enjoy it."
"It's a blast," said first baseman Goose Kallunki. "What's more fun than winning?"
The all-time Division 1 win streak record is 34 in a row, shared by Florida and Texas. So UVU is closing in on NCAA history.
"We would be etched in the record books," said Madsen. "Even this year, having the longest streak in the nation during this season, that can't ever be taken away from these guys."
True, Utah Valley has beat up on teams like North Dakota, Houston Baptist and New Jersey Institute of Technology. But the Wolverines have also knocked off 10th-ranked Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and BYU during the streak. However, because they play in the Great West Conference, the Wolverines (35-11) may have to win the rest of their games to secure their first ever bid to the NCAA Regionals. That would put their win streak at 41 in a row.
"It is what it is," said Madsen. "We recognize who we are. We're not in the SEC and we're not in a super conference. All we can do is win games and let the cards fall where they may."
"That would be awesome," said Swenson about the possibility of playing in the regionals. "We've been trying for that ever since we've started. We have a lot of seniors this year and we'd love to go out with a bang like that."
No UVU player has had a bigger season than Goose Kallunki. He leads the entire nation in runs batted in with 72, and he's 8th in the country in both batting average (.419) and home runs (15).
"It's really cool," said Kallunki, a former Orem High star. "I've been working my keester off since I was little. I've been dreaming about this kind of thing. My dad and I have always stressed driving runs in, and I just happen to be getting hits with guys on this season."
The Wolverines are proof that there is good baseball being played in Utah. They lead in the country in team batting average (.350), and 27 of the 34 players on the roster are local players.
"We have great players here in Utah," said Madsen. "We've been fortunate enough to get guys to choose our program, and we want to try and continue to have local guys play for us."
If Utah Valley keeps winning, the Wolverines would break the NCAA record for most consecutive wins May 18th at home against Northern Colorado.