This pastweekend in Seguin, Texas, the University of Dallas baseball team did not fare well against the Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs. Unlike their first meeting, when the Crusaders took the series two games to one, the boys lost all three games. Game one had the score of 3-9, game two was 1-5 and game three ended with a score of 5-7.
Unfortunately, these games counted towards the conference record, whereas the initial meeting did not, which leaves the Crusaders in sixth place in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) with a 3-6 conference record. Hope is not lost, though, as the top four teams in the SCAC go to the conference tournament. In baseball, the hottest teams with less fortunate records often make deep runs in the postseason.
Paul Scioli, freshman catcher, has a compelling perception of this season.
“I think we need to have more of a sense of urgency offensively earlier in the game. We tend to wait to start having offensive momentum,” Scioli said.
Scioli also noted that an earlier start to the offense would give the starting pitchers more confidence and breathing room.
“We need to find a way to scratch up some offense in order to give our pitchers more breathing room,” Scioli said. “We get hits, we weren’t out hit by much, but we don’t have timely hitting, especially early. Now that we are playing crisp, we need to start executing.”
The Crusaders also left 20 men on base this weekend. The second and third games of the series were both well within reach, but the boys blew their opportunities on multiple occasions, stranding a total of 16 players in the two combined games.
In addition, despite giving up nine runs in the first game and seven in the third game, the Crusaders’ pitchers have done a good job at leaving the team with an opportunity to win, especially while missing their ace, junior Ryan Hammonds.
Eric Felchak, junior starting pitcher, reflected upon the ever-changing team dynamic.
“This Crusader team is very young, and lacks the experience of other teams who have more upperclassmen to rely on,” Felchak said. “We have played very hard and tough most games, while gaining valuable experience. Usually, we have one or two mistakes that determine the outcome of some games, but we are starting to limit those innings and clean it up. We are starting to mature as a team, and it shows by the way we fight back every time we get down.”
The season is not over, so if the boys continue to improve, they will increase their chances of ending the season on a high note. With continued team unity and cohesiveness, the team can make it to the conference tournament, on pitch at a time. Remember to support your Crusaders this upcoming weekend, April 9-10 against Schreiner University.