On the Bump: Layton Tromba
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hi Gent fans and welcome back to “On the Bump!” This past weekend, we had our first three games of the season so I am going to talk briefly about those games and some of the highlights we had this past weekend in our three games.

We opened up Friday morning and came out swinging the bats with authority. We took the lead against UT-Tyler and never looked back from there.  Holden Novak took the ball and delivered a solid outing for us, picking up the W on five innings pitched, 6 hits, 3 runs. Grant Debevec finished the final four innings, allowing just 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits picking up the save.

The offense was all-around very impressive in the opener. Michael Schimpf was 3-4 with 4 runs scored and Christian Sebastien sent a 3 run shot over right center field to propel us to a 14-4 lead in the 8th inning. We ended up winning 14-6. We jumped on them early and never looked back, which was awesome! We certainly wish all of our games played out the way this one did, but that’s just not the nature of this humbling game of baseball.

Moving onto Friday night, we took the field in the second game of the doubleheader against George Fox out of Oregon, ranked 29th in the nation. We started down 3-0 after the second inning but really battled our way back into the ballgame. I got the start on the mound and competed, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings. Going into the 7th inning, we were trailing 4-2 before a big 3 run inning from our offense.  We went up 5-4 until the bottom of the 8th when George Fox struck for 3 runs. We fought hard in the 9th and scratched across 1 run before we eventually came up just a bit short.

Paul Arcement ended up taking the loss on the mound pitching 2 innings allowing 2 hits and 3 runs (2 earned). Ian Graham was 3-5 at the plate with 2 runs scored. That was a really tough one for our ball club because we battled so hard and kept fighting and clawing our way back in it. It was a tough one to swallow most definitely, but it’s the kind of game that can be a big help for us down the road.

Saturday’s scenario was similar to Friday night’s game as we came up on the short end of another 1 run ballgame, losing 4-3. Jake McFarland started and went 5 innings, allowing 3 runs (0 earned) on 3 hits. It was a really solid outing on the bump for Jake and we are glad to have him back from surgery and pitching for us. He is a battler and showed some grit, even without his best stuff.  Taylor Henry came in and threw a solid 3 2/3 hitless innings for us, pitching on back to back days. Cole LaVergne went 3-4 at the plate and Christian Sebastien went 2-4 with an RBI.

Unfortunately, we ended up dropping 2/3 on the weekend. We fought hard in all three games and had every chance to win all three. Sometimes, that’s just the game of baseball but we played three solid ball clubs and battled each game, coming up just short. As hard as it may be to believe that those losses can help us, I really feel that way. We are only going to get better with all of our young talent as we continue to get our feet wet. These three teams we played are all teams that have made the regionals numerous times in the past decade, so we can take that as a positive because we are right there.

Our three starters gave us chances to win each game, and our hitters swung the bat really well, batting at a  .342 average over the weekend. At the end of the day, we came up a bit short and that was a disappointment, but these things are signs of really good things to come for us.

I was really proud of the way we fought this weekend.  We are going to get sharper as the season goes, on the mound and at the plate, and I’m really excited about this squad. It stunk to not be able to “win a series” but there were many positives to take away from this weekend. Being fierce competitors, it was a pretty long ride back from San Antonio as we didn’t come away winning at least 2/3 games.

It’s important to think back and remember many of the good things that happened opening weekend. If we battle like that and keep pulling on the same rope, I think we will be right where we want to be come the end of the season. This week of practice is very important to correct the minor yet crucial mistakes that could have changed the outcome of the two games we came up short. I’m excited to get back after it this coming weekend against ETBU and try to come away with three victories. Until next week, Go Gents!!