Although the Florida spring break trip for the College’s men’s baseball team may not have gone according to plan, with much of the season left, they remain optimistic.
Despite posting a sub-.500 record, the Lions were pleased with the way they competed against the nation’s top teams. In their first game against Wheaton College, who at the time was ranked No. 1 in the country, they stayed competitive and scored the final five runs of the game. Unfortunately, that comeback was not enough as they were narrowly defeated 9-6.
“The score didn’t really show how close the game really was because it was just one inning when they got a couple of breaks that went their way and they scored a bunch of runs,” senior outfielder Mike Murphy said. “We really didn’t want to give up and everyone kept on passing the rope to the next guy and we were able to put some runs up on the board, which was nice.”
Although the Lions were unable to pull off the upset in their game against Rhode Island College, they picked up their first win in Florida thanks to the heroics of sophomore infielder Josh Limon, who went a perfect five for five on the day including the game-winning hit in the ninth.
“(He) has been hitting the ball hard every time up and he’s had a bunch of hits down here and drove some runs in,” Murphy said.
In their next string of games against No. 9 Webster University and Suffolk University, the Lions remained tough but fell short by one run both games in extra innings.
“We have pretty much been in every game, we hadn’t lost by a lot of runs or won by a lot of runs, it has been a lot of close games and maybe you could see some of the youth being the difference between them pulling it out and us pulling it out just with a lack of experience,” Murphy said. “We just haven’t gotten that break which we could have used some luck to have walked away with a win.”
The tide quickly changed, however, during their final two games. In the second game of their double header against Worcester State University, freshman pitcher Steven Volpe threw the Lions’ first shutout of the season, winning 3-0. The following day against the University of Massachusetts Boston, the College continued its momentum as they beat the Beacons 6-4. With the two consecutive victories to end the Florida trip, the Lions were able to pick up their first winning streak of the season.
While they may have liked to have played better, finishing strong is very important. It gives this young team something to build off of, and shows promise for the rest of the season.
“There are a lot of freshman that are playing and people who did not see a lot of time last year who are in the lineup now and it is going to take (some time) for everyone to come together and start clicking as one unit,” Murphy said. “You could start to see it because there were flashes of it so we will be alright.”