The weather has been on the baseball team’s radar these past few weeks. “Not in the last 10 years,” head baseball coach Carl Tebon said, “has Loras experienced such a persistent cold and wintery feel this late into the spring season.” Few athletic teams are as bothered by this cold as the Loras baseball team.
Baseball is an outdoor sport, so having to practice inside Graber has become slightly tedious and takes a great deal of dedication to maintain a positive attitude and intense focus in preparation for upcoming games. As head coach Carl Tebon reiterated, “We just try to throw the guys something new each and every day.”
“Whether that be with live sessions for the hitters, different defensive situations, or different condo, we try to keep things fresh.” Tebon also added the challenges of keeping things fresh, “can be difficult, especially with the pitchers who are on a strict throwing schedule, but I think Jeremy (Gerardy – Head Pitching Coach) has done a great job keeping the guys ready and motivated.”
From a player’s perspective, it can be difficult to really grasp the mindset that games are right around the corner. Similar to football’s preseason, competing against your teammates, whether it be 7-7 or what the baseball team calls “live days”, tends to grow old after a few weeks. This is the result of both batters and pitchers constantly learning to make adjustments against one another and learning each other’s tendencies.
The Duhawks feel as if they have a lot to prove this season as they are looking to build off the successes of last year. As sophomore pitcher Marshall Rice said, “With losing eight senior pitchers last year, we have some big shoes to fill. Our young staff is excited to get the year started and show the conference what we are made of.”
With the experience in the lineup and the fresh arms of a revitalized pitching staff, the Duhawks can wreak havoc in the American Rivers Conference. The team finished with four wins in Kissimmee, Florida over the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg Bobcats (6-2) (9-8), Cornell College Rams (9-7), and Juniata College Eagles (9-2). Second base-man senior Cole Thompson led the Duhawks in their last game against Greenville University going 2 for 3 with a homerun and two runners-brought-in. Although they finished the trip on a loss, Loras improves their overall record to 4-2.
The team hits the road this weekend to Carol Stream, Illinois to take on Northland College and Aurora University on Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.