Warm weather heats up baseball team
Matt Gad – Sports Writer
Southern’s baseball team has been clicking of late. March 6 they held their home opener, tying 6-6 with Post University in a game suspended due to darkness.
On that one, head coach Tim Shea described the middle innings as “disappointing.” The Owls came out with a 1-0 lead and were up 2-0 after four innings, however, the game got away from them. The seventh went as a four-run frame for Post, after they scored one run each of the previous two innings.
“Our relief guys came in and kind of gave up the lead,” Shea said. “We really just weren’t throwing strikes – we walked four guys in a row in that seventh inning.”
Griffin Bremer started, giving up seven hits and two walks, facing 22 batters, before Christopher Ramos and Austin Darrow both walked two in the middle of the game. In total, Southern pitching sacrificed 11 hits, six runs, six walks and six strikeouts on 40 Post batters.
But pitching is only part of the battle. At the plate, the Owls scored six times on eight hits, four RBIs and nine walks, despite stranding 11 runners on base throughout the course of the afternoon.
Shea said he was “really impressed” with his team’s two-out hitting and said the team scored a majority of their runs in that situation. In the last inning, Zullo came up big with a two-out triple, he said, tying the game. In short, Shea said his team needed to do a better job trusting the defense and “not giving up bases (walks.),” which can really hurt them throughout a ballgame.
“Falling behind in the middle of the game is tough, and losing a three-run lead is even worse, but being able to compete and tie the game in the eighth was something positive we were able to take away,” Greg Zullo said. “A complete effort on every play is needed to win a college baseball game and, from what I’ve noticed in my four years here, we have to win more of those types of games to have a successful season.”
And after this game, the Owls traveled west to Fort Pierce, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Lantana Fla. to battle Assumption College, Molloy, Caldwell University, Post, Lynn University, Merrimack and American International College. Southern won a stretch of four straight, including one that went 11 innings, over the road trip, and finished the Florida swing with an 8-1 record.
Ahead, they play Bentley University at home March 24, and continue the homestand with Stonehill College on the 25th and Bentley again March 26. All in all it will be an eight-game stretch at The Ballpark at Southern Connecticut, spanning through April 2.
After Florida, the team sits at 11-4-1, winners of four straight games. They are now also 11-2 in neutral site contests and 0-2 in road games, making for a robust .719 winning percentage.
Last season the team finished 16-25-1 and played to the tune of 8-10 in conference play. Moreover, they fell to a 6-18 road mark and missed out on a deep playoff run. This year they are already just five wins shy of tying last season’s total and it’s only the middle of March.
Photo Credit: Southernctowls.com