Early struggles plaguing Tuscola baseball

By Missy Chappell
Tuscola baseball was able to play all four games on the schedule last week starting at home on Tuesday, March 21 before road games Wednesday, March 22, Thursday, March 23, and Saturday, March 25. When the week ended the team came away with just one win, making them 3-4 through two weeks this season.

Tuesday, March 21
Tuscola 3; St Joe-Ogden 7

Andrew Erickson got his first start of the season at home against St. Joe-Ogden last Tuesday afternoon. Despite a valiant effort on the mound, Erickson left the game after 3.2 innings pitched and recorded the loss.

After the game Coach Hoel praised Erickson, but cited miscues by the defense, “Andrew threw pretty well for his first start of the year. We had a couple balls drop that we felt should have been caught. We had a double play in the third taken away when the relay hit the base runner at second in the helmet and the umpire didn’t see it. That play would have prevented them from scoring their first three runs.”

The Warriors had two bad innings, the third and fourth defensively, and offensively they didn’t put any numbers on the board until the bottom of the fifth inning.

Hoel addressed the offensive woes in last Tuesday’s game: “We are not yet swinging the bats like we are capable. We did a good job of putting the ball in play today, but we didn’t barrel it up often enough, and when we did we hit it right at them. We had a few mental mistakes in the batter’s box that will get cleaned up with more reps. We saw a few swings trying to hit a seven-run home run when we were down as opposed to having a philosophy, believing in it and executing that philosophy. We still have guys not convinced that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Once they all come together and understand that they are playing for something bigger than themselves, we’ll be a pretty good ball club.”

Hoel summed up the loss as disappointing, but not concerning this early in the season.

“St. Joe is a good team, and they are well coached. We shouldn’t hang our head with this loss, but we should learn from our mistakes. We’ll bounce back and hopefully get another shot at them in the postseason.”

The full story can be found in the March 29, 2017, edition of The Tuscola Journal.