On the bump with Cole Thompson
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hello Gents’ fans and thanks for stopping by to read “On the Bump” this week. We played pretty well this weekend against a good Hendrix team and managed to sweep a three game series. This week I will talk about our series with the Hendrix Warriors and preview our upcoming weekend series with the University of Dallas.

Monday was our off day, which was nice considering we got back from Southwestern University around 11 PM on Sunday night. Tuesday’s practice went well, but we had to do a little running afterwards to take care of some team business. Wednesday was cold and rainy, but we were still able to get all of our relievers on the field to throw a few innings in a scrimmage. Those mid-week scrimmages are really important because they can ultimately decide which players will get opportunities during the upcoming weekend. Thursday’s practice was short and sweet, as our practices the day before a game are typically a way to finish up last minute preparation for our games that weekend.

Friday’s game against Hendrix was dominated by pitching on both sides. Fortunately, Layton Tromba was the better arm and he led us to a 3-1 victory. Tromba threw a complete game while striking out six hitters. He constantly kept the Warriors off balance and he did a really good job of competing. He also did not allow a walk, which is always a huge plus when you can avoid giving the other team “free” base runners. Our offense did not have their best stuff, but they were clutch when we needed them to be. Our situational hitting was phenomenal and we did a great job of having “team” and unselfish at-bats. All three of our RBI came on non-base hits. That’s a real sign that guys are not trying to do too much at the plate and they are focusing on doing their job. Marc Martinez and Christian Sebastien provided multi-hit games to pace the offense. One defensive play that really stands out in my mind is actually a play where we didn’t record an out, but the effort was magnificent. A Hendrix batter fouled a pop fly towards our 3rd base dugout, and the ball was clearly going to land in the dugout just a few feet over the rail. Our 3rd baseman, Craig Littleman, did not hesitate to go all out and dive over the rail. He did not catch it, but that is the kind of attitude and determination I love to see from our guys. Friday’s game was truly a team effort and we proved that we could win low-scoring games by pitching well, playing good defense, and executing situational hitting.

Saturday’s game was another well-played game, and our offense was effective. A Tyler Clakley RBI single drove in our first run of the game during the first inning, and Marc Martinez later scored on a passed ball to give us an early 2-0 lead. Our starting pitcher, Paul Arcement, did well, but he was pulled early due to a substitution rule. Nic Parrott came in to pitch with the bases loaded and induced a fly out to end the Hendrix threat. Parrott went on to throw a solid three innings for us and he recorded the win on the mound.  Taylor Henry was lights out on the mound as he recorded a three inning save. Taylor also made his collegiate debut at the plate, and he represented the BBB well as he hit a single. He got the opportunity to hit because we made a double-switch in our lineup. It was one of the highlights of my weekend to see Taylor get a hit because pitchers normally get a bad rap for being un-athletic, so I am glad he was able to go out there and prove that we can do a little more than just throw a baseball. Tyler Clakley and Marc Martinez sparked the offense with multi-hit games.

Sunday’s game was another tough battle for us but we eventually pulled away from the Warriors and won 10-3 to sweep the series. I started on the mound for us and Hendrix managed to scratch across two runs in the first inning. However, I was able to settle down and I eventually ended up throwing a complete game with ten strikeouts. I am normally one of my toughest critics on here, but I will say that I did a good job of handling the early adversity and battling back to give our team a chance to win. In the past I may have folded or let the first inning affect my attitude the rest of the game, but this week I was able to put it in the past and learn from my mistakes. Jemari James ignited our offense with a three-run homerun in the third inning to give us a 3-2 lead. A sacrifice fly by Ryan Gasporra gave us a 4-2 advantage, and we would never relinquish that lead. Christian Sebastien also provided 3 RBI while Ryan Gasporra added 2 RBI to his credit as well. Matt Creamer swung the bat really well on Sunday as he went 4-for-5 at the plate. Craig Littleman also went 2-for-4 at the plate with a triple. One thing I noticed while scanning the box score was that our five senior hitters had 9 of our 13 hits and 7 of our 10 RBI. It is awesome to see all of our seniors contributing and playing a huge part in our offense.

All in all we played solid this weekend. Our pitching stepped up and gave our offense a little bit of a break after they bailed out our pitching at times last weekend at Southwestern. This just goes to show that baseball really is a team game and at times throughout the year we will rely on one another to help out when a facet of our game is not clicking on all cylinders.

This coming weekend we play the University of Dallas in a three game series at home. Dallas is 5-1 in conference and they are playing really well lately. I expect them to be competitive and I can promise you that we are not overlooking them. Statistically, they have several quality arms and bats, so I think it should be a pretty good series this weekend. Come on out to Shehee Stadium on Saturday (1:00 and 4:00) and Sunday (1:00) to watch your Gents. Until next week, go Gents!