Barons baseball rise and grind in Florida for non-conference games

Photo by Elizabeth Wagner

Christopher Dacanay
Sports Editor

While other students were relaxing over spring break, the Baron baseball team traveled to the warm climate of Fort Pierce, Florida, to play a handful of non-conference games, grabbing a 4-3 record for the week.

On March 13, the first two games, which were against Hood College, had their doubleheader split — a 1-0 loss for the Barons followed by a 1-0 win.

Both games started slowly; however, the second was differentiated by a fly ball by junior outfielder Daniel Hasley that allowed senior second baseman Michael Maynard to reach home.

The third and fourth games, which were played on March 17 against Albright College, landed the Barons two dominating wins.

In the fourth game, the Barons achieved a 10-run streak in the second through fourth innings. By the end, the Barons were sitting pretty at 12-5, aided defensively by pitching efforts from junior Brendan Burke and freshman Jonathan Perez.

The fifth game, which was on March 18 against Western Connecticut State University, resulted in a 10-6 win for the Barons. It was a strong showing for junior pitcher Jacob Watson and for Maynard, the latter of whom batted in two runs and nailed his first home run of the season.

Finally, the Barons ended the week March 19 with two losses to Washington College; the first score was 6-2, and the second was 3-1.

The week in Florida followed the Barons’ three-game sweep of Christendom College. The team traveled to Front Royal, Virginia, for one game on March 4 and another two on March 5.

Each game resulted in double-digit runs batted in for the Barons and only one or two points for Christendom. The greatest point gap was 19-1.

The Barons were split into varsity and junior varsity teams, both of which played games during the week.

Only the varsity scores are displayed on Franciscan’s athletics page; however, the junior varsity team had its own impressive showing, going 3-1 over the week.

Splitting the teams allows more Barons to play while simultaneously preventing them from going over their limit of 40 contests per season.

The junior varsity team is composed of the team’s backups — mostly freshmen, sophomores and some seniors who want to play more.

Including the Christendom sweep, the Barons are sitting at a 7-3 overall record this season.

Following the week, head coach Rick Carver said, “I’m pleased with the 7-3 records, although coaches are never pleased; we can always do better.

“I’m very pleased (with) where we’re at pitching-wise right now. … We’ve played pretty good defense. … The disappointing part is that we’re not hitting like we should.”

Also, Carver said he is pleased with the junior varsity team’s performance, especially when a few of the junior players had to step up to fill varsity spots.

Carver’s goal going forward is to improve offensively, especially in regards to hitting; however, he emphasized his approval of the pitching performance, including Burke.

Burke said of the week in Florida: “We faced some high-quality teams, and all the games were competitive.

“I feel like the team really came together … and our team chemistry has improved. … (Also,) the Barons truly appreciate and value the support of our fans, and we would love to see people out at our home games.”

The Barons won a home game 9-8 against Muskingum University Tuesday at 6 p.m.