After being swept in a season-opening series at Bucknell, the baseball team returns to Pennsylvania this weekend in search of its first win. The Red (0-4) is scheduled to play doubleheaders both tomorrow and on Sunday against Lafayette College (2-3).
Head coach Tom Ford and his players are coming off a tough weekend on the road at defending Patriot League champion Bucknell. Despite a solid all-around performance, the Red finished on the wrong end of four close games, losing two contests by a single run.
“We learned quite a few things over the weekend, things we have to get better at, things we knew we had to get better at,” said Ford. “Certainly we drew some positives — our pitchers for the most part kept us in games, they pitched and competed pretty well to keep us in games.”
Indeed, pitching was a strength for the Red against the Bison, with all four starters tossing four innings or more. Senior ace Brendan McQuaid picked up where he left off last season, as he went the distance in the series opener. McQuaid was unlucky to be tagged with the loss after scattering three hits and allowing only one earned run over his six innings.
With a weekend of action under its belt, the Red will hope to shake off some of the early season rust when it visits Lafayette.
“You practice for over a month and then try and recreate game situations in practices, but it’s not the same as a game,” said Ford. “We did make a few key mistakes at the close of games to lose them, but give Bucknell some credit. They had an answer for everything we did.”
Ford believes that the key for his players in getting back on track is to “play their game” and take care of business rather than worry about the opposition.
“For one reason or another, maybe we were pressing a bit too much the first weekend out, which I didn’t expect us to do because we are a veteran team,” he observed. “Sometimes you get caught trying to do a little bit more than you’re capable of doing.”
The Ivy League schedule won’t kick in until April, but these early season encounters will provide a good indication of which newcomers will be contributing down the stretch.
“We’ve got a lineup that’s fairly well set,” admitted Ford. “But these early games are to look at people so we may jump some guys in there and see what they can do.”
Archived article by Soo Kim