Baseball sits at No. 13 in NCAA rankings

After starting the season with a 14-4 record so far, the Tigers struggled the past week as they only won two of their past four games.

First the Tigers competed in a three-game series against Texas Lutheran University away on March 22 and 23.

In the first game on March 22 the Tigers fell 6-0, with the Tigers giving up three runs in the first inning, two in the fifth inning and one in the eighth inning. The Tigers used five pitchers: senior Trent Rape, junior Teddy Turner, and sophomores Steve Olesak, Pierce Pontikes and Chris Tate.

Later in the day the Tigers came back and earned a 12-2 win over the Bulldogs in a seven-inning game. The Tigers scored seven runs in the  third inning and five runs in the sixth inning. The Tigers only gave up runs in the first inning. Junior Michael Walker pitched the entire game and raised his personal record to 4-1. Nine Tigers got on the score sheet that night with juniors Drew Butler, Colin Serkowski and Jeremy Wolf leading the pack with two runs each.

On the losses and single win against the Bulldogs, Walker said, “They just wanted it more than we did. We need to take it as a  learning experience and come out the rest of the season with the attitude knowing how good we are and play how we should.”

The next day, March 23, the Tigers fell 10-2 to the Bulldogs. Texas Lutheran was the first to score with a lone run in the first inning. The Tigers got a single run in the third inning but it was not enough to keep up with the five runs the Bulldogs also scored in the third inning. The Tigers then added on their final run in the fourth inning and then the Bulldogs added three more runs in the fifth inning and one in the eighth.

Juniors Jeremy Wolf and Andrew Waters were the only two Tigers to get a run. Senior Zack Speer, sophomore Troy Nelson and first year Blake Frampton pitched during the game.

The Tigers bounced back from the losses to Texas Lutheran on March 24 when they defeated Hardin-Simmons University 19-4 at home. The scoring got started in the first inning when the Tigers scored three runs. In the second inning the Tigers scored 10 runs. They  then added one run in the third and fourth innings and two runs in the fifth and seventh inning.  The Cowboys scored one run in the third inning and three in the sixth inning.

This game Rape, seniors Matt Tindall and Nick Griffith, junior Ryan Gray and sophomore Robbie Kellerman pitched. Senior Beau Attyah and junior Nick Jewett lead the scoring with three runs each and juniors Austin Singer, Jose Santos, Connor Moore and Wolf added two runs each.

From here the Tigers hope to win games and be at peak performance come SCAC Championship and Regional time.

“We might have hit some bumps in the road, but you can count on us climbing to the top of the mountain come May,” Pontikes said.

Next up, the Tigers play Southwestern University in a three-game away series beginning at 7 p.m. on March 27. The Tigers then play at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on March 28.