The Gustavus baseball team is starting to get back into the swing of things after unpredictable weather conditions have limited their season. The wintry conditions experienced in April have caused all non-conference games to be cancelled along with the cancellation of the junior varsity season. The Gusties must now play eighteen games in a two week span in order to finish all of their conference games before the MIAC Conference tournament.
Despite the weather conditions, the Gusties have stayed focused and positive about the situation at hand. The team has spent more time practicing indoors. During these indoor practices, the team has worked on all aspects of the game in order to be prepared for the rescheduled MIAC Conference season.
“We have focused on conditioning and fundamentals. We have done lots of simulated pitching and batting situations, trying our best to make them as game-like as possible. Also, the players have been using the extra time to focus on their studies, so when we do get back out onto the field, it will minimize the effect on classes. I think our team has become closer and the team chemistry remains strong,” Head Coach Mike Carroll said.
“I’ve been really impressed with how we’ve maintained our focus and goals through this bizarre season. We have been practicing hard every day and working on a lot more things than usual. Our basic fundamentals are better than they have been in years past because of how much time we’ve spent improving as players instead of just preparing for games. Even though we’ve been inside, our hitters have taken a lot of at-bats against live pitching and have simulated game situations as closely as possible,” Senior Captain Outfielder/Pitcher Timmy Miller said.
The rescheduled conference season began last weekend on Friday, April 26. The Gusties swept Hamline on Friday 13-5 and 3-1. The next day, the Gusties were swept by Concordia 18-6 and 8-7. The weekend concluded with the Gusties losing the first game to Saint Mary’s 3-0, but winning the second game 5-3. Their overall record is currently 8-15 with a MIAC Conference record of 5-3, putting them in a tie for third place in the conference.
As the regular season comes close to an end, the Gusties are confident that they will make the MIAC Conference tournament. With a positive record in the MIAC Conference so far, the team is on their way to accomplishing one of the goals they had set out for this season. There is a level of importance to each game for the Gusties, which has kept them focused on one day at a time. However, there are other aspects that the team believes will determine the outcome of the 2013 season.
“We will need to get on a positive run, balancing solid pitching, timely hitting, and making the routine play in the field. We have nine doubleheaders in a short period of time, so getting hot and staying hot will be key,” Coach Carroll said.
“We have a very good chance of making the Conference tournament, and from then on anything can happen. We have great pitching, both starters and depth, which can carry us even when our offense struggles in a game or two. We just need everyone to show up ready to play for each game, no matter how crazy our schedule is,” Miller said.
“Everyone is going to struggle down the stretch in terms of pitching, so I think it will come down to defense and timely hitting that will separate teams,” Senior Captain Infielder Drew Block said.
There are three more double headers left to be played at home this season, so be sure to check out the Gustavus baseball team as they attempt to make a big push into the MIAC Conference tournament to conclude this year.