Missouri Western baseball had a rough weekend, losing every game in a three-game set against the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri.
It was a close game one with Western falling 4-2 with all four runs for the Mules coming off a grand slam late in the game. Sophomore infielder Dusty Stroup also went one for four with a homer of his own while pitcher Carson Dwyer pitched the entire game, but still allowed all four runs.
Game two showed a bit more offense from Western but the Mules also scored more and the Griffons lost 8-4.
Junior infielder Brooks Day went 2-3 with three RBIs in the game while junior infielder Casey Danley went 1-2 with two runs of his own. Pitcher Nate Hunter kept the game close with his pitching, but a late rally of bats by UCM stormed the Western pitching staff, scoring five runs in the eighth inning.
A common problem of this weekend was consistency. Batters didn’t do well when pitchers did and vice versa and coach Buzz Verduzco saw this.
“It’s honestly a timing thing, getting hot at the right time.” Verduzco said. “With these close games, it all comes down who makes the first mistake.”
This trend of the offense performing well when pitching isn’t the best continued into the next game, game three, with a 15-10 loss to end the weekend.
The final game of the series turned into a slugfest as the teams combined for 25 runs on 28 hits. These 10 runs are the most scored by Missouri Western since May 3, 2017, when it put 12 runs across the plate against Drury University.
Senior catcher Nick Schranck was 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and two walks. Junior catcher Kyle Snuttjer had three RBIs and scored a run. Junior left fielder Fahd Shakeel hit 2-3 with an RBI and a run of his own.
Western had five pitchers in this game striking out five while UCM had eight pitchers in and struck out eight batters.
Senior outfielder Levi Schreiner feels like this hard schedule early will help the team later.
“Facing these tougher opponents early on forces us to kick it into mid-season form earlier,” Schreiner said. “Also, this helps the younger starters on our team, and really the whole team in general, see the flaws we might have and fix them before we get into the middle of conference play.”
Next weekend, Western travels to Evansville, Indiana, to face the Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles.