While most students used spring break as a chance to unwind and recharge before finals, there was one team that kept swinging for the fences.
Baseball had six games over the past two weekends. After out-slugging Newman to win two of three games, they were the ones getting out hit against Northeastern State, only salvaging the final game.
The name of the Griffons this stretch was the long ball. The Griffons clobbered a whopping 15 home runs between the two series, highlighted by a five-homer day in the first half of a doubleheader against Northeastern State. While they may have lost the game, it continued the narrative that has been set. While their .258 team average ranks just 11th best in the MIAA, their 24 home runs rank fourth.
The offensive onslaught has been headed by two players: junior Alex Crouch and sophomore Bailey Crump. Crouch has improved from a .231 average a year ago to lead the team in batting average (.367), RBI (21) and OPS (1.136). While the infielder has been the Griffons best all-around hitter, it’s been Crump that’s led the Griffon’s power surge. The Jefferson College transfer has had no issue transferring from JUCO to NCAA, leading the MIAA in home runs with nine, including two in a six-RBI outburst on Sunday.
While the Griffon’s bats have had no issue scoring runs, the team’s pitching has struggled at times to prevent them. The team has a 6.30 ERA through the first 20 games. While it’s an improvement from the team’s 8.01 through 23 games last season, it’s still only the eighth best in the conference.
One of the best surprises for the Griffons has been in Robert Ferrell. Ferrell, who was redshirted last season, has been a revelation in relief. In six appearances, Ferrell has a 1.67 ERA in 11.2 innings of work. While only having two decisions, he and Roy Robles are the only pitchers with two wins thus far.
The Griffons are currently sitting at 6-14 on the season. While they only played 23 games last season, they still have another 19 games left before the conference tournament in May. There is still plenty of time for the Griffons to get back near .500. With a game against William Jewell this week, followed by a Northwest team they’ve taken the last five matchups against as well as a set with a Fort Hayes team that they’ve won 13 straight against, the door is open for the Griffons to claw back up the standings.