Hello Gents’ fans and welcome back to the tenth edition of “On the Bump”. This was a fairly busy week for us as we had a midweek contest with LeTourneau, and then we headed out to Sherman, Texas for three conference games with Austin College. This week I will tell you how those games went, and I will briefly discuss our extremely busy upcoming week that includes three midweek games and a pair of games this coming weekend against Southwestern.
Last Tuesday we welcomed LeTourneau to Shreveport for a midweek contest. We capitalized on some early miscues by LeTourneau and we led 16-0 after four innings. We eventually won 16-6, and it was a positive sign to see that we were able to take advantage of their mistakes and swing the bats well. Ryan Gasporra, Tyler Clakley, Jemari James, Craig Littleman, Adam Van, and Zach Stephenson all had multi-hit games to pace our 15 hit attack. Craig Littleman had two doubles and Tyler Clakley also added his second home run of the season. Also, Matt Creamer showed great plate discipline as he worked three walks. Freshman Paul Arcement started on the mound for us and threw an efficient five innings, as he earned his first collegiate win in the process. Holden Novak, Trey Guccione, Matt Posey, and Jake McFarland finished up the last four innings and secured the win for us.
On Wednesday our JV team played a doubleheader against Southern Arkansas’s JV team and played really well and swept the doubleheader. Thursday’s practice was light as we took it easy on everyone’s arms because of the number of games we had played in a short amount of time. On Friday we travelled to Sherman, Texas and had a quick practice at Austin College to acclimate ourselves to the field and playing surface. After a nice dinner at Chili’s we went back to the hotel. Friday was a little bit of an adventure because coach Jolley locked his keys in the van. It took teamwork, a coat hanger, and some ingenuity to get the door opened without a key, but eventually we were able to open the van and finally laugh about it with coach Jolley. Just kidding, we laughed at coach Jolley the whole time and made plenty of jokes. Our team has a lot of fun when we travel and I truly believe that those experiences make us a closer unit and improve our team chemistry.
Layton Tromba did his weekly thing in game one on Saturday and led us to a 10-1 victory. He threw a complete game while scattering 6 hits. Seniors Ryan Gasporra, Tyler Clakley, and Jemari James lead the offense while Matt Creamer, Christian Sebastien, and Nic Parrott each scored two runs. Freshman Devin Bench also made his collegiate debut and laced an RBI double in his first collegiate at-bat. We played a really crisp game and the scoreboard showed that we played really well.
Game two on Saturday was an odd game. It felt like we were in control, but the score remained close throughout the game and we eventually lost in the bottom of the ninth. Taylor Henry started on the mound and threw well for us, as he pitched into the eighth inning while allowing five hits. Tyler Clakley had two hits and Marc Martinez had two RBI to lead the offense. We talk a lot about winning innings 7-8-9 and treating those three innings as their own separate game. We lost 7-8-9 by a score of 4-1 in game two on Saturday, and as a result we lost 5-4. We need to hit, pitch, and play better defense. The blame doesn’t go to one person or one play, but rather as a collective unit we need to play better. We had several chances to put them away but we let them hang around, and ultimately we lost a game that we probably should have won.
Sunday’s game got off to a good start as we scored four runs in the first inning. The rally was sparked by a two-run triple from Craig Littleman. We never lost the lead and eventually won 10-7. Ryan Gasporra, Tyler Clakley, and Craig Littleman had multi-hit games to set the tone offensively. I was really proud of the way Craig swung the bat all weekend. He did a great job and squared up the ball constantly. Matt Creamer also added two runs while Christian Sebastien tacked on two RBI. We hit 6-for-13 with runners in scoring position, which proved to be one of the main differences in the game. I started on the mound for us and ended up throwing a complete game. They had a handful of hits, but I did not walk anyone. The walks are what really kill a team so it was crucial to make them earn each base and not give them any free passes. I finished up the game with 10 strikeouts and my defense played flawless behind me.
All in all the weekend was a little disappointing. We did not play anywhere near our potential and our approaches were not great in any aspect of the game. While it was nice to win two out of three games, I believe that we are a much better team than what we displayed this past weekend.
This coming week we have a doubleheader on Tuesday with Texas College followed by a single game on Wednesday against North Central (IL). The weekend concludes with a pair of games against conference foe Southwestern. It will be a very busy week so we will definitely have a chance to see a few guys step up and show what they can do.
Come out to the park this week and show some support. Until next week, go Gents!