On the Bump: Layton Tromba
Friday, February 20, 2015

Hi Gent fans and welcome back to “On the Bump”. Last week, we traveled to East Texas Baptist University to play a three game set. I am going to talk about those games and the highlights we had, even though we dropped all three to the ETBU Tigers. We have our off week of the season this week and it comes at a perfect time because we have a lot of work to do to get better, even though we are not as far off as the record suggests.

Friday night, we traveled to Marshall to start the three game series. We quickly fell behind 2-0 before scoring five runs to take a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh. They were able to score two in the seventh and three more in the eighth inning to win 7-5. I started on the mound for us and threw the ball fairly well after the first inning. I threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned) with no walks and six strikeouts. After that, we used Taylor Henry followed by Grant Debevec, Paul Arcement, and Devin Bench.

Offensively, Aaron Quintanilla lead the way going 4-4 with a home run and 2 RBI’s.  Brooks Williams and Cole LaVergne each tallied two hits as well.  We came up short Friday night in the biggest part of the ballgame. We scored five unanswered runs before they came back to do the same thing, ultimately propelling them to a 7-5 victory. It was a tough one to swallow, as we felt we had the game right where we wanted, but let it slip away late in the game.

Unfortunately, Saturday’s story was written much the same in our doubleheader.  The first game was a complete dogfight, as it ended up going 12 innings before we were defeated 4-3. Holden Novak started on the mound and threw pretty well for us, going 5 1/3 allowing 7 hits, 3 runs (1 earned) with no walks and one strikeout. We were up 3-0 in this ballgame until ETBU rallied with three of their own in the sixth. The game was all nodded up from then on until the 12th inning when ETBU walked off on a SAC fly.

Offensively, Aaron Quintanilla had another big game going 4-6 at the plate, and Ian Graham added three hits of his own, going 3-5. We played a fairly sound game in game 2 but just couldn’t push that all important go ahead run across after the sixth inning. It was a duel between bullpens as ours gave us a chance to win, but we fell just inches short again.

The second game of the doubleheader had much of the same feel.  We were swinging the bats early and often again before their pitching tamed us down a bit. We were out to a 4-0 lead before ETBU struck back for 5 runs in the 3rd. We took the lead again 6-5 in the fourth inning before they struck back for two in the bottom half of the inning and ultimately came out with a 10-7 victory. Jake McFarland took the ball for us and threw 2 1/3 innings, allowing 7 hits, 5 runs (4 earned) with one walk and two strikeouts. Michael Francis and Matt Posey finished the game on the mound for us.

Offensively, Kody Carson was 2-3 with 2 RBI’s and Brooks Williams, Chris Zapata and Michael Schimpf each collected 2 hits as well.

Overall, it was a very disappointing weekend for us.  We were up three plus runs in each game and didn’t come away with one victory. It all goes back to what we are reminded every day at the field, you have to win 7-8-9, meaning the last three innings of the game and unfortunately, we were unable to do that at all this weekend.

We have had solid performances at the plate and on the mound at points this season. The numbers aren’t bad, but not near good enough collectively to get the job done. That is optimistic because we obviously have some good pieces, but everyone has to step up from first to last man on the team. We have to continue to get better every day.

We have to pitch better and be bigger in tight game situations, as we have been allowing teams to come back against us late in these close ballgames. We have to get much better defensively as many big innings we have given up this year had some type of miscue in it. We have swung the bats well statistically this season as well, but not so much with key runners in scoring position.

I still fully believe and know we are capable of competing and winning a conference championship if we learn from our mistakes and we work hard to fix them. If we can correct some simple, silly mistakes, we can find ourselves competing at a high level winning ballgames. We have the pieces to do it, but it’ll be about finishing at the end of games and overcoming adversity in the toughest parts of games.

We just have to continue to strive to get much better. Some individual pieces are there and we have the talent, but we have to find ways to win together as a team and sometimes that takes time. We have a lot of work to do this next week and a half before going to Seguin to play the Texas Lutheran Bulldogs, but we still have many positive signs that point to us getting over this tough beginning of the season and finding a way to come out with some W’s and put us in the position we want to find ourselves in when we come down the backstretch of the season.

Until next time, Go Gents!!