Young Lions preparing to soak up the sun

After going 1-2 in their opening weekend against Immaculata University and Oswego State University, the men’s baseball team is preparing to rebound quickly before heading to Florida during spring break.

“We obviously wanted to go 3-0, but we are still a young team,” head coach Dean Glus said. “We have 15 freshmen out of the 30-man roster so that we got experience of playing these guys (was very beneficial).”

Sophomore Josh Limon shows poise at the plate. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

During their doubleheader against Immaculata, their youth appeared to get the best of them as they quickly fell behind 6-0 in their first game. After settling down, however, the Lions were able to regain focus as they narrowed the deficit to just one score by the end of the fifth inning. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough as they lost 9-6.

“We have a saying here that the key to winning a doubleheader is winning the first one because if you don’t win the first one, then you can’t win two,” Glus said.

With some of the momentum still in the Lions’ favor, however, they were able to maintain their composure as they made sure to not start the season by dropping the first two games.

“It has been cold and we haven’t been able to get outside that much so the opener was our first real test. Although we came up a little short, we played well,” senior outfielder Mike Murphy said.

During their second game on Saturday, March 2, Murphy started out strong after hitting a homerun in his first at bat, and brought in another score as well. This two-run lead was exactly what the Lions needed as they held off the Mighty Macs to an 8-6 victory.

“The guys fought back, we did some good things in the game yesterday,” Glus said.

Similarly to the day before, the following game against Oswego started off quickly as the Lions took an 8-5 lead in the sixth inning. Unfortunately for the Lions, the momentum shifted in the Lakers’ favor as they scored five runs. Being unable to recover, the men lost a close one by the final score of 10-8.

“(Although it was not ideal), we got a lot of good things out of the weekend because we are hitting the ball really well,” Murphy said. “Our pitching staff is a little inexperienced, but they are throwing well and throwing strikes that are getting hit around a bit, but we will be all right.”

With a nine-game stint next week in Florida, the Lions expect to face more tough competition as they open against Wheaton College, the No. 1-ranked Division III team in the country. Although not much is expected for their first game, Glus is aiming toward accumulating a winning record while on their spring break.

“This is our second day outside playing so there are some things we need to improve on,” Glus said. “We hit the ball pretty well, and we have a saying called kaizen. It means to improve a small weakness over a period of time and if we can do that every day then at the end of the year, we will be where we want to be.”