The weekend started off strong for the Loras Baseball team as they headed to Jacksonville, IL, for two games against MacMurray College and two games against Hamline University.
In four high-scoring contests, the Duhawks could only muster one win, dropping their record to an even 5-5 on the season.
The Duhawks were initially up against MacMurray College on Saturday, walking away with a 13-5 win over the Highlanders behind Junior Patrick Walsh’s 3-5, 3 rbi, 3 run performance.
Senior Adam Schwoebel held off MacMurray from the mound, allowing only two runs through six innings.
In their second game of the day, the Duhawks took on Hamline University. It seemed that their offensive groove was short lived, as Loras’ only run came in the sixth inning on a throwing error that scored Walsh from third.
Junior pitcher Alex Steines struggled from the mound, allowing seven earned runs on nine hits through 4.3 innings. Hamline would take game two, 10-1.
“If you don’t come ready to play and leave everything on the field anyone is beatable,” said junior Lucas Jacque. “One of the key aspects that we as a team have to continue to do is communicate. Having the ability to talk to each other and let each other know what is expected in every situation is a big thing we need to continue to work on.
“Another aspect is being focused on the task at hand,” he continued. “We need to be focused on every pitch, every out, every inning, of every game; because one slip up can lead to an inning that can sometimes be hard to dig ourselves out from.”
Early Sunday afternoon, the Duhawks were again up against the Pipers for their first of two games on the day.
Despite a strong offensive performance from the Duhawks, the Pipers came out even stronger. Hamline scored a whopping 20 runs on 18 hits on their way to a 20-9 victory. Despite his strong offensive performances on the weekend, Walsh struggled from the mound against Hamline, allowing 12 earned runs through 4.6 innings.
For their final game of the weekend, the Duhawks once again met up with MacMurray College. After the Duhawks scored three runs to take the lead in the bottom of the first, the Highlanders took no time answering with six runs of their own in the top of the second.
MacMurray held the lead for much of the game, but put the Duhawks away in the top of the eighth, when they added seven runs. Loras attempted to rally with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, but fell short as the Highlanders took the final game of the weekend, 17-10.
After their 1-3 weekend in Jacksonville, the Duhawks find themselves even with a record of 5-5.
Loras begins conference play this Friday and Saturday with a pair of double-headers at home against Simpson.
“For our first conference games, we’re taking a deep breath and realizing that it’s not going to be given to us,” said Walsh. “We learned this weekend that we need to fight every inning of every game. Conference games are the most important games of the season and I think we will be ready when it comes to playing those games at home.”