Western ready to host Northeastern State Universtity
By Albert Shelby
February 21, 2014
After starting the season 1-2 on the road, the Griffon baseball team looks to host Northeastern State University on Feb 21.
Western split games with Arkansas Tech University, and lost a close game to Southwest Minnesota State University, 6-7.
In the first game against Arkansas Tech, catcher Jake Schrader hit two home runs to help the Griffons earn their first victory of the season. A year ago, Schrader hit only two home runs in the entire season.
In the next game against the same opponent, Western struggled to get hits, and they fell to Arkansas Tech, 3-7.
Against SW Minnesota State, the Griffons had 10 hits, compared to their opponent’s 14 hits and a homer from Patrick Rients in the ninth, ending the game in heartbreaking fashion.
The Northeastern Riverhawks opened the season with two wins over Harding University. The game against Western will be their second road trip of the season.
Coach Buzz Verduzco wants his team to have a serious mindset, but to also enjoy themselves and their teammates.
“We have a lot of guys that we are counting on,” Verduzco said. “But now we have to go out there to play and have fun. You have to have fun playing. That’s the biggest thing. Winning is fun, but you must have fun doing it.”
Verduzco said that, even though they had some games cancelled at the beginning because of weather, he feels it gave his team some extra days to practice.
“We got snowed out of our first series against Harding,” Verduzco said. “I was really happy that we could take a few extra day of practice before heading into our upcoming series’. I think that having those days of practice has helped in preparation for the upcoming series. Hopefully we will see that.”
Outfielder David Chew was excited that the season was starting, though the snow was slowing the process.
Chew has been on the team for four years now, and he is depending on his leadership to help his team get through the beginning stretches of the season.
“I want to bring good leadership and help with getting hits,” Chew said. “I have been here for four years. I kind of know how things work here. I also know what coach Buzz expects from us. So I want to help bring that to the new guys and help show them the way.”
Chew was eager to finally play at home, considering their first three games were cancelled.
“We’re excited,” Chew said. “We are really excited. It is going to be a fun year and hopefully the snow goes away soon.”