We are nine games into the season at Seton Hill and it has been a roller coaster of a start. The anticipation built for a potentially exciting and challenging opening series at Francis Marion in mid-February. To everyone’s surprise we woke Saturday morning to find the palm trees covered in snow & ice, and were forced to pack up and head home until mother nature decided it was time to “play ball” again.
We spent the three days prior to our opener vs Lemoyne preparing our field in typical northern fashion… Snow plows, shovels, heaters… All for the love of the game! We finally opened the season at home in late February, which is rare in PA. Our home opener delivered 20 degree temperatures and steady snowflakes against a solid Lemoyne squad. Despite the weather, pro scouts from 18 different organizations made it out to see junior Alex Haines first start of the year. He didn’t disappoint and delievered a great start leading to a 9-5 victory. We split the remaining two games and headed to Florida Tech the following weekend.
A highly touted early season series between two top teams was a learning experience for our club. Our squad managed to give away lots of free 90′s the first two games, but we came back from 8 runs down in the series finale to beat FL Tech 12-10. What did we learn?
1. Expect chaos when you play in Florida against Florida teams with Florida umpires
2. Dont assume its always warm & sunny in the Sunshine state
3. We have a tremendous amount of work to do in order to become a championship caliber team
4. We have great character players that can raise their level of toughness and desire to elite levels when they are challenged
Sitting at 3-3 overall with very inconsistent play, we managed to piece together a 3-1 victory against IUP on March 9, despite 16 punchouts at the plate. Another learning experience that great pitching can make up for poor hitting. We hit the road after that win for a 5 hour trip for our WVIAC opener against southern division favorite Concord.
Today, the pieces started to come together. We grinded out 14 runs while yielding just 4, complimented by flawless defense (something that haunted us our first 6 games). The sweep of Concord was completed with a bases loaded, 2-out, 11-pitch strikeout in the bottom of the 7th by our starter to secure a 3-2 win… My 300th career coaching victory, which unfortunately for me, came from my lawn chair in the outfield… A strange way to get it, but I want to thank that umpire in Florida for the unwarranted suspension he handed me. Gave me a whole new perspective on this roller coaster. Can’t wait to jump back on with our boys and enjoy the rest of this ride!
Seton Hill University Baseball