Lions right the ship after shaky start

The baseball team responded to a tough spring trip by winning three games this past week, highlighted by a 7-1 thrashing of Haverford College in the home opener on Friday, March 16.

The Lions are back on track after a 3-9 start. (Lisa Nitzsche / Staff Photographer)

The win was the second in a row for the College after their 3-6 start on their Florida spring trip. During the game, senior catcher Mike Galeotafiore went 3-4 and jacked his first home run of the season.

Junior second baseman Scott Kelly ripped off two hits in four at-bats and drove in a run, continuing his torrid pace to start the season. After 13 games, Kelly is hitting .490 with a home run, six RBI and 15 stolen bases.

“I’m seeing the ball well and we have such a potent lineup. It eases the tension off of the hitters knowing that every guy in that lineup is going to produce for us,” Kelly said.

Senior first baseman Jimmy Ruzich also had a big game, knocking in two runs on 1-4 hitting. Freshman infielder Mike Murray also went 2-4 and brought a run home as the team’s designated hitter for the game.

The team also defeated Elizabethtown College in one of two tries on Saturday, March 17, taking down the Blue Jays 4-3 before losing the second game 3-2. The team ended up on top for the week, however, finishing 3-1.

“We learned from our experiences out in Florida and used that as momentum into this past week,” Kelly said. “We focused on the little things to make us a better team. We picked each other up and got timely hits and quality pitching when we needed it. Each win was an all-around team effort.”

The team has had a somewhat rough go at it so far, but is looking to improve as the season goes on.

“Every team has its peaks and valleys,” Kelly said. “Unfortunately the ball is not bouncing our way in some games but even though our record shows we are under .500, it fuels each person on this team to do what they need to do for us to become successful.”

This season’s slow start is in stark contrast to last season, when the team jumped off to a hot start during the spring trip. However, the team lost some games down the stretch last season and is hoping to reverse their fortunes this year.

“We started off hot last year but lost a little mojo going into the end of last year,” Kelly said. “This year we are looking to take something out of every game no matter win or lose and use that as motivation and momentum to carry us into the next game.”

Now the team is focused on taking things one game at a time and not letting the tough NJAC schedule ahead of them distract them from the task at hand.

“Every game is important from non-conference games to NJAC games,” Kelly said. “We can’t oversee these next six games because they are just as important to us as NJAC games. We won’t necessarily be changing our approach because we know what it takes for us to be a great team and every game is the most important game of the season.”