Baseball 3-10, Mother Nature impedes schedule

Jonathan Burkart, Crier Staff

The men’s baseball team is off to a tough start in 2015, coming back from Florida with a 3–10 record that does not reflect the team’s ability to overcome challenging obstacles so far this season.

Surprisingly, their biggest competition has not come from opposing teams down in Florida, but from the never-ending winter that makes outdoor practice impossible.

All of the Hawks athletic teams have been practicing indoors because of the two feet of snow covering campus. Practicing in a gym is particularly difficult for sports like baseball and softball.

For starters, hitting inside of a batting cage is dramatically different from taking a live pitch. Also, it is impossible for the outfielders to properly practice catching fly balls, as ceilings are not conducive to pop-ups. Thirdly, there is no diamond indoors, so the players can only go through the basic fundamentals of their positions.

These unfortunate factors have a snowball effect that result in a difficult time producing runs for the Hawks. Despite the challenging circumstances and rough start to the year, freshman catcher Cody Carr remains optimistic.

We saw some good things and we saw some things we need to work on,” number 35 explained about the team’s spring season in Florida. The team’s current record does not reflect the valuable experience they received while playing down south. Carr explained that the baseball team has, “been practicing in [the Carr Center] for a while now, so it was great to go down south and get some games in.”

Traveling in order to get game-time experience is essential to the baseball team’s season. While the extended time spent training indoors has helped the team to build camaraderie and train physically for the season, nothing beats the mental preparation of actual games. Since playing games in Sullivan Park is not a viable option right now, the team will have to wait for Mother Nature to start playing ball.

Carr and the Hawks are looking to turning their season around by “first getting to .500.”

In order to accomplish this season goal, the Hawks will have to overcome their main obstacle of this season, which has been producing runs. In games where they produce only four runs or less, the Hawks are 0-10, but they are 3 – 0 in games where they have five or more runs.

While their opponents average seven runs per game, the Hawks are only averaging three runs per game. Junior outfielder Ken Morrisino and freshman middle-infielder Max Wadington have been bright spots in a struggling offensive run this season, averaging .314 and .260 respectively. Each player has 4 RBIs this season and are responsible for a combined total of eighteen runs this season.

But the Hawks have a long stretch of games ahead to recover from early struggles, including thirteen home games during the second half of the season. Following the postponement of their series against St. Thomas Aquinas last weekend, they look to continue their season with two double headers next week against Queens and American International as soon as the snow melts.