While most students traveled south over spring break toward the promise of beach-spent free time and leisurely relaxation, the baseball team went the same direction with a different goal in mind: to get some reps and in-game experience free of the snowy weather that has been the norm in Connecticut as of late.
The beginning of the trip saw a Cardinal team that had yet to shake off the rust of a winter spent indoors. It showed throughout their first few games. The men opened the trip with consecutive losses to Lewis & Clark College (12-10) and Bethany Luthern College (4-1). The second game of the Bethany Luthern doubleheader went the way of the red and black, who won a close game in walk-off fashion by a score of 5-4. Steve Moran ’13 doubled and scored what was subsequently the winning run on a Guy Davidson ’16 single.
The win gave the Cardinals momentum, and they cruised to wins in their next two games, beating Marian University 15-10 and defeating St. Ambrose University by a score of 6-5. The Marian game was a mighty offensive slugfest, as every single Cardinal hitter who came to bat got on base at least once. St. Ambrose proved to be a more tight affair, as the Cardinals edged out the Fighting Bees thanks to the first collegiate save by Sam Elias ’15.
After cruising to three straight wins, the Cardinals played Marian University again, and the results were different. The Cardinals lost 9-6 and began a downward spiral. The next two games were also losses at the hands of Grand View University by a score of 11-4 and The University of Wisconsin-Superior by a slim 13-9 margin.
Their second and final doubleheader of the trip came against Augsburg College. The first game was an unfortunate affair that saw the Red Birds drop to a 3-6 overall record with the end score of 8-4. The second game was essential for the Cardinals—a win could turn their whole trip around and put them in a good position to come roaring back with momentum on their side for the remainder of the trip. That is exactly what they did, winning the game 7-6 and not needing the final home frame to do so.
That win propelled the Cardinals forward and they made quick work of their opponents over their next four games. They beat Macalester College 8-5, and then they absolutely dismantled Gustavus Adolphus College 17-1 to move back to .500 (6-6) for the third time in the trip. They went on to beat Carleton College next by a score of 5-4 and followed that up with a 12-1 whooping of Macalester. The final game of the trip was a letdown as the revenge-hungry Carleton College Knights lampooned the Cards 17-11.
Over the course of the trip, the offense was in rare form. Led by second basemen Andrew Yin ’15, who batted .477, the team hit an unreal .363 while the pitching staff held opponents to a lesser, but still concerning, .314 average. Yin has collected both NESCAC Player of the Week honors so far, while junior ace Jeff Blout was named the Pitcher of the Week for the second of the two due to his dominant 11-strikeout complete-game performance in the 12-1 win over Macalester.
The Cardinals begin conference competition against Hamilton on March 29.