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By Kevin Enright
The men’s baseball team started its season with a 4-4 record in their annual spring trip to Texas. Each year the team travels to San Antonio to start their season with out-of-conference games.
This season started off well for the men’s team, as they had a 3-0 record early in the week. Their wins came against Texas Lutheran University and a double-header win over Schreiner University.
“Overall it was a good week. We started off with a big win over Texas Lutheran,” said Ken Ridge, junior sport management major. Ridge, who plays second base, was named Freedom Conference Hitter with two hits, including a triple and a home run in the 5-2 victory over Texas Lutheran. David Drinks, who started the game, pitched a complete game earning him the Conference Pitcher of the Week honor.
The team then lost three games straight, two of which came from 10th ranked Trinity University.
“We hit a rough patch at the end of the week,” said Ridge.
Travis Hughes, a junior sport and exercise science major, said of the trip:
“The team did well on the trip to Texas. I think it was a good start to the season. And we will learn a lot from the trip to Texas.”
The team finished the eight game stand in Texas by splitting a double-header against Cardinal Stritch University. The Bulldogs ended the trip with a record of 4-4 and a team hunger for conference games.
“We are definitely ready to head into conference play this weekend,” Ridge said. The Bulldogs will face Manhattanville College this weekend in a double-header at home.
Some members of the team see areas that will improve as the season progresses.
“Better defense and confidence at the plate are improvements we will make. But that will all come with time,” said Justin Scerbo, sophomore marketing major.
“Some of the improvements that we need to make coming out of Texas are working on base running, timely hitting and proper execution on play and playing up to the speed of the college game,” Hughes said.
Ridge added, “From the trip and moving forward [in the season] each player finds their role on the team. [As the season continues] we each improve to help the team in those roles.”
The team is set to make a run at a World Series appearance and a regional appearance at the least.
“Our ultimate goal is to make the [NCAA Divison III] World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin. We feel confident that with strong play in the conference and the regular season tournament that we have a good shot to reach that goal,” said Ridge.
The team finished last season as the conference regular season champion. The team has high hopes for where it will finish the season.
“Our team will win the conference this year and we will have a good run in the regionals. I believe we have a chance to do great things this year,” said Hughes.
Dan Gayeski, sophomore business major and pitcher agrees. “Anything short of a regional appearance is going to be a disappointment.”
The Bulldogs have played four games since returning from Texas. They went 2-1 agianst Manhattanville College last weekend; while losing against Neumann University on Tuesday. The Bulldogs are 6-6 with a game scheduled for today against Misericordia University.