The University of Dallas baseball team played their last regular season series at home this past weekend, facing the Schreiner University Mountaineers. While the Crusaders may have not achieved the result they were looking for, they knew that they would be fighting an uphill battle up until the last couple games of the season.
“Heading into the last couple of weeks, we still had a shot to compete in the SCAC tournament,” sophomore third baseman Nathan Patton said. “We needed to go at least 5-1 in the last two weekends, so we were working hard trying to achieve that goal.”
The Crusaders went without scoring any runs in the first two innings of the first game, until second baseman Seth Hanson rained a solo bomb out of the stadium, his seventh during the team’s campaign. Junior left fielder Luke Boylson then followed up with a bomb of his own in the next inning, scoring first baseman Mark Peterson and extending the lead to 3-0 against the Mountaineers.
Things were going well for starting pitcher Conrad Voss until the fifth inning, when the Mountaineers mounted a five run assault, shifting the momentum and taking the lead 5-3.
The crucial inning for both teams was the seventh. The Mountaineers made it a 6-3 game, but the Crusaders got two back and made it a 6-5 game. Center fielder Jordan Stickler recorded a hit, and catcher Jessup Scott and Mark Peterson followed with RBIs to make it 6-5 in favor of the Mountaineers.
The Crusaders threatened again in the eighth, loading the bases, but couldn’t drive a run in. The game ended in a 6-5 victory for the visiting team.
The Mountaineers followed up with another 6-5 victory in game two of the doubleheader, and 5-3 in the third game of the series on Sunday.
“Going in to today we were just going to go out there and give it all between the lines,” Patton said about the third game.
The team ended the season 12-26, just shy of a .333 average for the season. While the team had a strong offense scoring 234 runs, the last six losses to end the season kept the Crusaders from being a playoff contender this year. Patton commented on what the team is working on now, which posted an overall .285 batting average for the season.
“Everyone’s got their own individual stuff they have to get better at,” Patton said. “Overall, we are working hard this summer and fall to compete for the SCAC title. Hopefully we can bring the title to Irving.”
Josh Abalos, who has contributed all season long, talked about how he works on his game in particular.
“Something I have worked on is just slowing the game down, really focusing on the fundamentals and situations of the game,” Abalos said. “Another thing we have talked about as a team is doing your job and controlling what you can control.”
Finally, when asked about head coach Joe Myers, there was no doubt about him for Abalos.
“Myers played on championship teams and knows what a team needs to do to win,” Abalos said.
“We have gotten better over the years I have been here, especially because our junior class was his first crop of recruits. He works hard at what he does, and if we can get some recruits to fill some holes we had this year, we will compete at a high level next year with our mature senior class.”
For the UD Crusaders baseball team, despite not having the season they wanted, the future looks bright.