Baseball: offensive performance leads to series opening win

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Photo courtesy of UD Athletics.

The University of Dallas baseball team won the opening game of their three game series against Dallas Christian College on Friday, April 13, with an 18 – 4 victory.

“In games like these where you’re facing a pitching staff that’s not a top tier one, you have the tendency to get out of your approach,” said junior third baseman Mark Peterson. “You start swinging at pitches that are out of your zone and trying to hit home runs every time, but today I felt like we were really staying in our zones and weren’t trying to do too much, and that really helped us keep grooving these pitchers and hitting some good line drives.”

UD struck first as Peterson singled in junior outfielder Jordan Stickler for the first run of the game.  Peterson would later have a two RBI single in the second inning to contribute to a 4 for 5 day at the plate.

“This week in practice we had some minor league guys come out, they were getting ready for their season, and I was picking their brains a little bit,” said Peterson. “One of them told me he doesn’t think of anything during his at-bat.  He said all he tries to do is feel his swing, try to hit a line drive right at the batter’s eye. So today, I just focused on my breathing a lot, tried to stay in rhythm, and tried to stay to center field. Even if I’m off a lit bit, I can still hit a line drive to left field, and I’m not hitting foul ball all the time trying to pull home runs.”

UD was clicking on all fronts of the game, pitching, defense and offense. Sophomore pitcher Conrad Voss allowed only one hit and no runs through the first four innings of the game. Voss and sophomore infielder Seth Hanson contrived to pick off runner Cruz Barrea at second in the second inning, and the offense scored 9 runs by the end of the fourth.

Dallas Christian finally broke through with a run in the top of the fifth, when Barrea scored on left fielder Josh Lindly’s RBI single.

In the bottom of the fifth, Dallas Christian relief pitcher Noah Hoth faced seven men and failed to retire a batter, as UD started what would end up being a 9 run inning. After UD batted around the order, Coach Joe Myers put in his bench. Freshman Max Costello pinch hit for Stickler and hit a 2 RBI double. Junior Paul Scioli pinch hit for junior catcher Jessup Scott and hit his own 2 RBI double.

Junior Enrique Vigil made his first collegiate career pitching appearance in relief of Voss in the sixth inning and finished out the game. Dallas Christian scored one in the sixth inning and two in the seventh, but not before Costello made a diving catch in center field, robbing pinch hitter Juan Sandoval of a base hit.

“[The young guys] are the guys that (are) supporting you all year long,” said Peterson. “Especially for us starters to see them come out there and play so great. It’s really huge. It’s a testament to how good the team is top to bottom. It’s not just the starting nine, it’s the whole 25 guys on the bench ready to come in at any time. In those last few innings those guys got a chance and they executed.”

“It always helps getting that first win of the series,” Peterson added. “It feels like you’ve got the leg up going into a doubleheader. You just gotta have fun tomorrow, get a few wins. We got two sevens, and just take the same approach. Don’t change anything.”

UD improves to 10-20 on the season and Dallas Christian drops to 4-24 with the loss.  The two teams complete the series on Saturday, April 14 with a doubleheader at Dallas Christian. Game times are at 1 and 4 p.m. central time.

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