Courtesy Case Sports Information
Northeast Ohio’s weather was up to its old tricks again this past weekend, creating some poor weather for the four games that Case Western Reserve University’s baseball team played. Play they did though, although they struggled in winning only one of the four games. The first half of the four games was played on Friday afternoon, as the Spartans first welcomed John Carroll University and Ohio Wesleyan University to campus to play a couple of home games.
Entering the day, the Spartans had yet to lose at home, but they struggled, dropping both games, the game to John Carroll by a score of 7-6 and the contest with Ohio Wesleyan finishing 11-7.
Third-year outfielder Aaron Cain had a thought on the weekend’s struggles, saying, “It seemed like a rough weekend because we were just slightly off our game. With the season getting mixed around due to weather, it is difficult to practice a substantial amount and that could have had an effect on how we’ve been performing.”
Second-year player Nate Glasser added, “It’s definitely tough not knowing when we’re going to play next and not practicing to the extent that we would if we were able to get outside everyday.”
The struggles at least partially followed the Spartans into the weekend, as they journeyed to Ohio Wesleyan for two more games on Sunday. They were able to win the first game 6-4, but the second saw them allow three runs in the seventh for a decisive 5-2 victory for Ohio Wesleyan.
There was a bright spot in the win for the Spartans, as third-year righthander Preston Williams pitched a complete game against an Ohio Wesleyan team who entered the game with the fifth highest batting average amongst Division III teams, along with the sixth highest runs per game average. With an average of 9.8 runs per game, Williams’ performance in holding them to four runs, three of which were earned, was an integral piece to a big Spartans’ win.
Following a 1-3 stretch over the weekend, the Spartans’ record now comes in at four games over .500 at 16-12. With a Wednesday game against Trine cancelled, it is obvious that the weather is still not trying to help CWRU.
“It can be extremely difficult to get into a groove with the weather,” said Cain. “If you’re hot then you can stay hot but if you start to cool off it is harder to get back into a groove due to the lack of practice time.”
There is still a recipe to success amongst all this adversity, and Cain has it. “We need to continue to stay mentally strong. A lot of what we preach is mental toughness and that is what helps you succeed when you have less practice time than you would like. As long as we maintain mental toughness, the physical success will follow,” he said.
Glasser added, “Ultimately, it comes down to throwing strikes. Our offense is going to put pressure on teams so as long as we don’t give up any free runs, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”