The Missouri Western menâ€™s baseball team hasnâ€™t exactly got out to the start they planned this season, with many of their first games getting cancelled, thier record now stands at 8-14 and (5-6) in conference.
The Griffons have struggled defensively committing errors that have led to many unearned runs. They have committed a total of 36 errors. Head Coach Buzz Verduzco knows this isnâ€™t acceptable.
â€œIf we donâ€™t play defense, we wonâ€™t win games, itâ€™s that simple,â€ Verduzco said.
There have been bright spots for the Griffons this season. Their offense has been exceptionally well, so far. Ben Toedebusch and Adam Carolan have been two of the better hitters for the Griffons. Toedebusch leads the team in batting average at an impressive 407. He is also tied for the team lead in triples with two, and also adds two home runs and 14 run batted in. Carolan leads the team in home runs and runs batted in, with four and 16 respectively.
The Griffons pitching staff has also been a bright spot for the team. The Griffons have a team earned run average of 5.93. The leaders of the pitching staff, so far have been Chris Jackson and Chris Rusler. Jackson has the Griffons lone shutout this season and Rusler leads the Griffons in earned run average, with a 2.08. Verduzco believes the pitching staff and the offense have been bright spots this season.
â€œThe pitching staff has been good for us and we have been hitting the ball well so far,â€ Verduzco said.
The Griffons still have time to turn it around this season. Their goal is to make the conference tournament and try to win that to get to the playoffs. The Griffons are looking for their seventh straight winning season. Verduzco believes the Griffons still have time to accomplish their goals.
â€œWe need to refocus and make the conference tournament,â€ Verduzco said.
Another key player for the Griffons, so far this season has been Troy Landi. Landi has been a table setter for the baseball team. He leads the team in runs scored with 23 and he also leads the team in stolen bases with ten.
The Griffons are currently sitting at sixth in the MIAA conference. The conference is top loaded with Emporia State, who is ranked tenth in the nation, and Central Missouri, who is currently 21st in the nation. The Griffons are currently only a game out of third place.
The Griffons have set off on a long trip. They won their first game on Friday against Truman State by the score of 13-3. Then on Saturday in a doubleheader they won their first game against Truman State by the score of 7-4, and in the second game they lost by the score of 5-2. The Griffons will be back home on April 8 and will have a total of ten home games, through April 20.