Griffon baseball begins to wrap up the 2014 season with a series against the Blue Tigers of Lincoln this weekend.
Lincoln is struggling this season, and has only claimed one victory, they stand at a record of 1-23.
“We prepare every week, no mater who we are playing. This weekend is very important to our team. We will have to play well to get the outcome we desire,” pitcher Tyler Sanders said.
But, even though Lincoln doesn’t seem to be an immediate threat, the Griffons are treating this like any other routine matchup.
“Lincoln is sill a college baseball team, and, as we have noticed in this league, anyone can win,” outfielder Trevor LaHonta said. “Even though they might not be doing well, we still need to play our best, because there aren’t any guaranteed wins in this conference.”
The Griffons are keeping their heads above water this season, they currently sit at a 15-14 overall record and are at an even 11-11 in MIAA play.
“We did not play up to our potential at the start of the season,” Sanders said. “But, over the last few weeks, we have started to come together and play good baseball.”
After last season’s first ever MIAA title, it seems as if the pressure is on for the Griffons to compete just as hard as they did last season.
“Yeah, in a way it does pressure us to play hard, because teams want to beat the best, but we are a completely different team than last season,” LaHonta said. “If anything, it amps up the intensity of the game, because teams want to defeat the reigning champs and we want to remain champions.”
While some may agree that defending the title may add some pressure to the game, there are other players that view it as a challenge.
“I would not necessarily say that there is added pressure, but we do understand that, being the defending champs, there is a mark on our back,” Sanders said.
The Griffons still have to face four more teams to end the season, but, they seem confident in their ability to play as a unit to finish the season strong.
“I feel confident that we will continue to get better and play to our potential, if we trust our coaching and each other,” outfielder Ryan Degner said. “Guys like David Chew, Jake Shrader, LaHonta, Cody Childs, Hunter Weiss, and Dylon Koch are continuing to play good baseball. I am excited to see what the end of the season brings.”
Western will head to Jefferson City, Mo. to face the Blue Tigers this weekend. The first game of the season is set for Friday, April 4. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.