Baseball season starts off shaky

Rachel Vogt, Staff Writer

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The Wildcats have had a rough start to this season, starting 0-4 with losses to UC-Colorado Springs Mountain Lions and the Rangers of Regis University.

Senior Tanner Simons said it was nice to finally go outside and play since they have had to have practices in the gym.

“We saw a lot of good things,” said Simons. “We definitely also saw some things we need to work on to get better as a team.”

In their first contest, WSC scored twice in the top of the first when lead off batter junior Jake Lorenzini reached on a UCCS error, and scored on Simons’ double to right field. Simons then later scored on a fielder’s choice from sophomore Bryce Bisenius. This put the ’Cats up 2-0.

After the Mountain Lions plated one run in the bottom of the first, WSC pushed back with three in the top of the second to give them the 5-1 advantage with runs from sophomore Peyton Barnes, sophomore Jackson Petersen and senior David Janes.

UCCS scored two runs in the third and two more in the fourth on a two-run homer to tie the game at 5-5.

The score remained 5-5 until the seventh when the Mountain Lions used a pair of singles and a hit batter to load the bases with two outs, then win the game on a Wildcat error to rally for the 6-5 win.

“Heading into the second game we tried to just move on and come out and compete like we did in the first game,” said Simons.

The second game saw Colorado Springs erupt for 16 runs to sweep WSC 16-4.

The Mountain Lions scored four runs in the first, two in the second, third and fourth innings, and six in the fifth.

Wayne State scored one in the fifth when junior Garrett Graveline singled, and scored when Simons reached base on an error. The Wildcats added two runs in the sixth on just one hit and two UCCS errors.

Freshman Andrew Hanson doubled and scored on a throwing error for the first run. The second run came when Barnes walked and later scored on another UCCS error.

The last WSC run came in the seventh when Simons reached on an error and scored on another error.

Head Coach Alex Koch said the Wildcats didn’t play at their full potential in the second game against UCCS and the first game against Regis.

“We didn’t display a very good defensive or offensive effort in either game,” said Koch.

The Wildcats turned around to face the Regis University Rangers the following day.

“We knew Regis was going to be a very good team so we just tried to win every pitch and play as a team,” said Simons.

In the first game against Regis the ’Cats took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, thanks to two-run homers from Simons and Hanson, but Regis stuck for seven runs in the first and took a 7-4 lead.

The Rangers never let up, adding two runs in the second, four in the third, two more in the fourth, followed by three in the fifth and five in the sixth to seal off a 23-7 victory over the Wildcats.

The second game against Regis saw an early WSC lead again, but the host Rangers scored two runs in the third and fourth innings to win a low-scoring 4-1 contest over the Wildcats.

Simons led off the game with a single and scored on a Janes infield single to third base giving the ’Cats the 1-0 lead.

The Rangers scored two runs in the third on a pair of hits to take a 2-1 lead against Wildcat freshman starter Aaron Ras.

Regis used a solo home run in the fourth followed by a hit batter and a Wildcat error that led to the second run of the inning giving the Rangers a 4-1 lead to close out the game.

“Aaron threw well, we just didn’t hit well enough,” said Koch. “Our bullpen arms were good, we just need to play more as a team, and we can’t expect one or two individuals to get the job done. We need to play as a team more and get better defensively before we go out again.”

Simons is still optimistic about this season despite their opening weekend losses.

“I’m looking forward to grow as a team and figure out what this team is made of,” said Simons. “This first weekend isn’t going to define us as a team, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish this season.”

The Wildcats will be on the road again March 3 with a non-conference double header at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas starting with a 1 p.m. contest.

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