The Griffons had their first home stretch this weekend but ended up going 1-2 against the St. Cloud State Huskies, bringing their record to 5-5.
The first game was a blowout, with Western losing 17-2. Head coach Buzz Verduzco is adamanet on not glossing over this game.
“Yeah, we always wanna talk about the good stuff but we have to talk about this game,” Verduzco said. “It sucked, and it shows that we’re still kind of in that early season form.”
It was a tough day for the Griffons as they had more strikeouts than hits. Nate Hunter, usually a consistently good pitcher, barely got out of the second inning before he was pulled as he allowed eight earned runs. On top of that, every single pitcher was taxed with at least one earned run.
The biggest takeaway from this weekend and so far this season are the number of walks given up by Western, as in this game they walked 12 St. Cloud State batters. Verduzco could’nt agree more.
“You look at how our pitchers are playing and its good, but when you allow this many walks, and when you allow walks back to back,” Verduzco said. “That’s just horrible.”
Game two was a 180-degree turn though, with fewer walks and more hits, but sadly could not squeak out the close win as they lost 4-3.
Carson Dwyer went six and a third innings only allowing two earned runs on five hits and six strikeouts.
For the bats, Fahd Shakeel made the most of his pinch run/hit opportunities, going two for two with an RBI.
The game was so close, statistical categories like walks, hits, strikeouts and errors were all around the same.
Game three of this series is where Western finally got their first home win, beating St. Cloud State 9-5.
Casey Danley went two for three with two runs, three RBI’s and a home run. Will Jibas hit one for four but did have four runs of his own. Casey Danley was proud of his team and could see improvement over the weekend.
“Yeah you look at the games and the scores and you can tell we got better,” Danley said. “The walks dropped, the hits went up and in the third game, it culminated in a win. Obviously, we would’ve liked to win the other two but at least we got that one game.”
The game ended on the arm of Trever Carroll who recorded a weird statistic on this day, a four-inning save. To get a save you need to be the final pitcher for your team and win, you cannot be the winning pitcher, and either: enter the game with a lead of no more than three runs and stays in for one inning, stays in for three innings, or comes in regardless of score with the tying run on base.
Carroll came in with a three-run lead and pitched four innings, gave up two runs on three hits but since the Huskies didn’t take the lead he got credited with the save.
Carroll was happy with his performance but sees that his team including him could’ve been better.
“Yeah, I did well that game but the game before I wasn’t too good, and we all have our ups and downs as shown by this weekend,” Carroll said. “This team is ready to play no matter what though.”
Next weekend the Griffons travel to Warrensburg, Missouri, to face the Mules of Central Missouri in a three-game set.