11 games are now in the book, we are 7-4, and a couple of things have revealed themselves. Our pitching staff has shown some great pitchability. They, as a group, have really stepped out and carried our club through these first 11 games. We were hopeful as a staff that they could keep us in games and allow our offense to carry us over the top, but they have exceeded our expectations, giving us one great outing after another. Senior RHP Max Whieldon has been tremendous, but unlucky as a guy could be, since we have literally scored zero runs for him in either of his starts. Junior RHP Brandon Kizer has really done a terrific job, not allowing a run in his first two starts and just 3 runs in his last start. He is now 3-0. I could go on and on, naming all our pitchers because they have really impressed so far, but I won’t bore the 3 readers I have with all of that. 2.64 ERA as a staff so far. Great job fellas!
The second thing that has given me goose bumps as a coach is our defense. .982 fielding percentage so far as a team. Our infield has been especially stellar, making some outstanding defensive plays, but also just being so efficient at turning those ever-helpful double plays. Some possibly crushing innings have been wiped clean by a well-timed 5-4-3 DP. That is one cliché that is not overused – DP’s really are a pitcher’s best friend.
As the hitting guy here at SU, I have to be honest and also let you know that we have not swung the bats particularly well yet. If I’m going to gush about our club and our good start I have to also be man enough to type that we have been a little disappointing to this point at the plate. We are averaging almost 9 strikeouts a game! We may look to make a little fundraiser out of it and try and sell all that wind energy generated by our whiffs. So while we are swinging and missing entirely too much, and our batting averages are nothing you want up on the scoreboard, we have done enough to this point to get to 7 wins, but more importantly, to give us a glimmer of hope that we are close to breaking out and getting hot with the new BBCORs. We are grinding in the cages, getting our swing mechanics down and having some much better at bats across the board. If we can bring our offensive game even near the level at which we are pitching and playing defense, then we may well continue to be a tough opponent for all those bigger schools out there. I really believe the talent we have on offense is good enough tot do that.
Lastly, with two straight series wins against Notre Dame and Portland, and also a road victory against our cross-town rival Washington in our last 7 games, we are beginning to show that SU is serious about becoming a postseason contender in the near future. Believe me, I’m not putting the cart before the horse and talking like we’re going to make the NCAA tournament this year, just merely giving notice that Seattle U is coming. Knock, knock.