“Players Auctioned to Fundraise, Gain Female Fans”

Leanne Fisch usually dates swimmers, but this time she’s extending her strike zone to include UT pitcher Josh Bowman.

Bowman was just one of 31 baseball Spartans who teamed up with UT’s Sports Marketing department for a date auction this past Monday.

According to the player’s guide handed out at the auction, Bowman’s favorite meal is ‘Mama’s Spaghetti and Meat Sauce’.

He and Fisch will have to settle for a hot dog at Frankie’s, the prize handed out to each lucky lady and her date.

‘ President of the Sports Marketing Department’s fan group ‘The In Crowd’ Melissa Chipchak, organized the event to increase female fan interest in UT Baseball, not because the team is having trouble finding dates.

‘We have a pretty hot baseball team,’ Chipchak said.

Even though the Spartans are high in the rankings, 13 in the most recent poll, attendance on game day remains low. Alex Catania, another member of the sports marketing team, thinks this type of event can help create a better bond between the team and student body.
‘We wanted to promote how good our baseball teams is,’ Catania said. ‘The baseball team is good looking, too, so maybe more [girls] will come to the games.’

Although most of the ladies bid in a spur of the moment manner, Lorna Bartges had her eye on slugger Jose Jimenez from the start.

‘He’s kind of an eye candy,’ Bartges said with a smile.

At 235 pounds, Jiminez may be the largest piece of candy ever, but he is definitely the most expensive one on the team.

Bartges paid $10, twice as much as the second highest bid. Baseball players weren’t the only goods on the auction block.

UT hats, t-shirts, polos and even a jersey were part of a silent auction so UT’s male population had something to bid on.

‘We’re breaking new ground,’ Catania said. ‘We have done two teams [meeting], but never a team being auctioned. It’s a big step.’

All proceeds from the events will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

‘ Michael Franz can be reached at

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