WINCHESTER, Va. – Senior Daniel Freshley is in his second year of blogging about the baseball program. With the season finally underway, Danny takes time out to update us on the Hornets progress.
A bunch has happened since I've written to you last. And please forgive me; between all the games and 18 credits in my final semester, it seems I don't have a whole lot of free time to update the blog. Who would have guessed?
Heading to Roanoke the first weekend of March, we were very excited to finally take the field. We had only been on a baseball field one or two times all spring but that wasn't something we really worried about. Once we arrived at the hotel, we unloaded the bus settled into our rooms, and then met in the lobby to go over our scouting report and game plan for the following day.
As you may have noted from several of my other blog posts, we prepared for our upcoming season by playing numerous intrasquad games. During our team meeting, coach asked several players how many innings we thought we had played to that point. The answers varied across the room, but we came to find out we had played an astounding 315 innings of baseball (35 games) without ever competing against another team!
Coach Anderson stressed that although many people have made comments about how they're not sure how we're going to play our first time out on a field, this is not an excuse or statement he agrees with. Because we had the ability to prepare and play as many innings of baseball as we had to this point on the Shentel turf, we were able to play game one of the season, a conference game, with the full confidence of playing our game and competing at a high level. We were able to come out that Monday and take two games on the road to open our season on a high note.
However, just a few days later we dropped back-to-back games to conference opponent Washington & Lee and South Region opponent Mary Washington. In both games we were not able to put together anything offensively and struggled to drive the baseball around the yard.
After falling to 2-2, Coach Anderson challenged us with a big, six-game home stretch in which we needed to run the table to put ourselves back in a comfortable position as we drew the first quarter of our season to an end.
In our program, Coach Anderson and the rest of the coaching staff break down our season into four 10-game segments. Following each ten-game set, the staff analyzes statistics at each position on the field to find where we are getting productivity, where adjustments and changes need to be made, and where we can continue to improve as a club.
Following the loss to Mary Washington, we were able to come out and take four games in two days on Sunday, March 15th and Monday, March 16th as well as another big conference game against Washington & Lee on Tuesday, March 17th. We prepared to finish off our six-game challenge while closing out the first set of ten games against Catholic on Wednesday, March 18th. However, the game ended in a bizarre 2-2 tie after 13 innings.
Ed. Note: Danny is referring to the fact that since the lights were not working at Bridgeforth, the name was nearly moved to Bodie Grim Field before CUA decided not to continue.
After completing that six-game stretch in four days, we got right back to work on Thursday at practice. We had a great day of individual defensive work and offensive work on the field, stressing our situational hitting execution and hitting to our strength when in an "individual" at-bat. We took Friday off as a result of the weather, and with the conference series against Hampden-Sydney being moved from Saturday to Sunday, we were able to have another great individual offensive and defensive day while preparing for our upcoming stretch of games.
As we prepared to take on Hampden-Sydney yesterday, we knew we were playing a team that was much better than their record. After winning the first game of the doubleheader, we got together as a team to briefly discuss game two. For us, a successful day was only halfway completed. We came out in game two and were able to put together a five run third inning and put up another two runs in the fourth inning. Starting pitcher Mike Scimanico gave us a great outing on the mound with only a fastball/change-up combination. Not one breaking pitch was thrown during his seven innings of work, and he allowed just a second inning single.
We'll be back in action again Tuesday at Dickinson before returning to Bridgeforth Field again Wednesday against conference foe Eastern Mennonite. Before I sign off, on behalf of the entire team, we would like to thank our tremendous fans that have made this recent home stand so successful. Your dedication to this team and our success, even when it's 45 degrees with a 30+ mph wind, has made playing this game all the more fun! We look forward to your continued support and will see you at the yard Wednesday!