On and off the field, teammates build relationships that they hope will last forever, but not many bonds are stronger than the bond that Penn baseball's Cole Sichley and Eduardo Malinowski share.
The former roommates turned housemates are entering their second baseball season as Quakers with a friendship that rivals few others.
Malinowski and Sichley are both from Houston and are majoring in economics at Penn. They share a similar love for their team, Texas, and Fortnite. Their similarities run so deep that they were playing baseball together before they even realized it.
“We didn't [know each other] until we both committed," Malinowski said. “It’s funny because we played against each other every single year and didn’t even know and then finally he ended up pitching against me in a game.”
Since then their relationship has blossomed into a friendship that is representative of the the team as a whole.
“We knew each other a little bit in high school, played against each other a couple of times, and last year we obviously spent a lot of time around each other," Sichley added. “I think it translates well. The team is pretty close in general and I think that our relationship is similar to the team’s in that way.”
Their common interests also extend to the classroom, where they have both chosen the same major out of the many that are offered.
“It kind of subconsciously influenced both of our decision to become econ majors," Sichley said. "We saw what we were going through, [and] we’re both on this path so we thought might as well keep it rolling."
As far as on the field, Malinowski had a strong first season with the Red and Blue and was even named an All-American. Despite being a rookie, his gameplay showed no signs of struggling from the adjustment to college baseball. It was during this breakout year that his friendship with Sichley really got going.
“It was actually kind of helpful being able to relate with a bunch of stuff and tell people that we were both from Houston," Malinowski said. “[We’re] both doing this and we’re getting through it together, so it was nice being able to relate.”
As a pitcher, Sichley is quite a force to be reckoned with on the field. Hailing from The Woodlands, Texas — a quick trip north on I-45 from Houston — Sichley was a standout in high school and led his team through four great seasons.
Since coming to Penn, he has continued his winning attitude on and off the field. His friendship with Malinowski has helped him through his journey on the team, as well as in navigating Penn and Philadelphia overall.
“It’s definitely an adjustment to going to a school so far away, but I think what influenced me the most was the education," Sichley said. “I knew that the Ivy League really interested me and the coaching staff here is just great. A lot of the guys here are from Texas, so you got the guys who you can relate to from home, and knowing that a couple guys in the class already were from Houston was a relief."
Outside of the time they spend on the field, the pair share some of the things they like to do in their free time as well.
“We hang out, we play a lot of Fortnite, Apex Legends is taking over, a lot of studying, and just hangout talk about baseball,” Sichley said.
Whether playing on the diamond or in class, Malinowski and Sichley are an inseparable duo. As teammates and friends, their chemistry will undoubtedly be an asset to the team's performance.