Baseball had their four-game set against Arkansas Tech moved up to Thursday and Friday and ended the weekend with two more wins and two more losses, moving their record to 4-3.
They started the weekend off on a somewhat sour note losing 10-9 after ATU spoiled a Western comeback. This is only somewhat sour because the offense showed up in this match, an offense this team has not yet seen consistently.
Shortstop Dusty Stroup went 3-5 with three runs, five runs batted in and hit a grand slam in the sixth. On the pitching side of things, Levi Abrahamson pitched a good three innings, striking out four and only allowing a hit. The pitching of Abrahamson and the defense really helped Westerns comeback plan, but it ended up falling short.
Game two was a different story as a complete game by pitcher Nate Hunter propelled the Griffons to a 7-1 victory. Hunter pitched all seven innings only allowing one run on seven hits and three strikeouts. Although the bats looked good stat wise in this game, ATU helped Western a bit by committing five errors. Hitter Nick Schranck didn’t mind though as he ended the day 3-4 with three RBI’s.
Head coach Buzz Verduzco knows the way the team played these games wasn’t the best.
“The offense as a whole hasn’t been doing great, but we’ve been getting hits when needed and that’s what counts,” Verduzco said.
Even with the offense not playing the best, Hunter still gives them credit for his complete game.
“The offense really got in a lot of runs to help me get comfortable and they definitely played a part in me getting this complete game,” Hunter said. “It feels great.”
Although the offensive struggles stayed through the first two games, in game three, eight out of the ten batters got at least one hit. That was not enough though as Western fell 7-6.
The MVP of this game was easily Levi Schreiner, who either scored or batted in five of the six scores Western put up and went 3-5.
The force that decided this outcome was the nine strikeouts Western had on their batters. All the Griffons who pitched in the game combined didn’t reach the strikeout numbers the starter for ATU had.
Western rebounded in game four though, winning 2-1 on the back of a great pitching performance by Carson Dwyer.
Dwyer went six innings, allowing one run on six hits and striking out six batters. On the offensive side, even with only two runs, center fielder Maurice Bruce went 3-4 with a run, and Schreiner went 0-1 but drew two walks on the day.
Preston Bailey went 1 2/3 innings with two strikeouts in the first game and earned the two out save in the second game. It is his second save of the season
Their next series is home on the 16th-18th of February as the Griffons (4-3) host the St. Cloud State Huskies(0-0) who start their season with this series.