On the bump with Cole Thompson
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hello Gents’ fans and welcome back to the final March edition of “On the Bump”. It has been an extremely busy week since I last gave y’all an update, as we have played five games in the past week. I will update you on those five games in this edition of the blog and preview our showdown with Trinity this upcoming week.

Last Tuesday we hosted a doubleheader against NAIA opponent Texas College. We ultimately fell by a final score of 6-5 in 11 innings, but we really beat ourselves. We managed 13 hits, but we went 2-11 with runners in scoring position and we left 14 runners on base. Matt Creamer, Craig Littleman, Christian Sebastien, and Nic Parrott all had multi-hit games while Creamer also scored two runs and had two RBI. Jake McFarland made his first start of the season on the mound and did a great job of filling up the strike zone and keeping us in the game. Grady Flournoy and Matt Posey threw well in relief, but ultimately we didn’t execute when we needed to and that was our downfall. Our hitting, pitching, and defense all made a few key mistakes, and it all added up to result in us losing a close game. We just need to learn from our mistakes and better ourselves for conference series.

In game two of the doubleheader freshman Holden Novak made his first start of the season and spun a gem for us. Holden threw all seven innings while allowing one unearned run and striking out six. Novak’s solid performance led us to a 3-2 victory. While we only had six hits, Ryan Gasporra and Christian Sebastien provided two hits a piece to lead our offense for the night. While it wasn’t the prettiest game, it was really good to see our team show some fight and battle in a close game.

On Wednesday we played North Central (IL) for our third mid-week game of the week. Freshman Paul Arcement came out and threw an awesome game for us as he threw 7 2/3 innings while allowing one hit and striking out four batters. Our offense did their job as we carried a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, but we ultimately lost 5-4 as North Central put up four runs in the top of the ninth inning. Coach Diaz always stresses that we need to win the 7-8-9 innings, and Wednesday afternoon was proof that its tough to win a game if you don’t finish strong. Give credit to North Central for stringing together five hits in the final inning, but at the same time we are a good enough team that we need to be able to close the deal on games we have controlled for eight innings. Tyler Clakley, Craig Littleman, and Nic Parrott had multi-hit games while Zach Stephenson also had two RBI on the afternoon. It was a pretty disappointing mid-week for us because we finished 1-2 when we should have been 3-0. But if we learn from our mistakes and become better as a result, the losses will have been a tough lesson for us.

On Saturday we took on conference opponent Southwestern in game one of our two game series. Our offense really brought their “A-game” as we threw up a season high 24 runs on 17 hits. Matt Creamer, Tyler Clakley, Craig Littleman, and Christian Sebastien all had multi-hit games, led by Sebastien’s four extra-base hits. Matt Creamer, Tyler Clakley, Craig Littleman, and Christian Sebastien all had multi-RBI games as well. Layton Tromba started on the mound for us and threw a solid five innings while allowing one unearned run and striking out two hitters. Chase Clarke and Matt Posey finished the last two innings combining to allow two earned runs. While we still won 24-10, we played a little bit sloppy at times and we had a few issues to clean up. However, it’s tough to be disappointed when your offense has a day like that.

The second game of the series on Sunday resulted in a 14-2 victory for us. I threw the whole game for us on the mound, allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out two hitters. Our offense broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning as we scored nine runs to stretch our lead to 12-2. Matt Creamer, Tyler Clakley, Jemari James, and Nic Parrott all had multi-hit games to set the tone for our offense. Matt Creamer, Tyler Clakley, and Craig Littleman combined for nine RBI while Ryan Gasporra drew three walks. It was a really solid day for us as our offense went 10-20 with runners in scoring position. If you have 10 hits with runners in scoring position, you are in great position to win a ballgame.

It was a good weekend for us as our offense put up 38 runs in two games, and our pitching was pretty good as well. Our defense was a little rough at some points, but we played well enough to win and that is ultimately the important factor. We can play better, but I was still very pleased with how we came out and competed all weekend.

We play LeTourneau in Longivew, Texas on Tuesday night, followed by a two game series against the #2 ranked Trinity Tigers on Thursday and Friday in San Antonio. Needless to say, the Trinity series will have large implications on the conference standings, but we are approaching it like any other series. Baseball is great because any team can win on any given day. Like I said when we last played them, there is a high level of mutual respect between the programs and I anticipate that it will be a very competitive series.

Thank you for stopping by and catching up on a busy week of baseball. We appreciate the support we received at all five games. Until next week, go Gents!