This weekend Leatherneck baseball took full swing as we brought a 5-11 record into our first home series against the Musketeers of Xavier. This was the first series of a 13-game home stand and we felt we needed to come out and prove a point.
After losing a game to both Air Force and Saint Louis last weekend and then dropping another game to Saint Louis at our home-opener on Tuesday, it became gut check time for the Leathernecks. Knowing that we weren’t playing up to our full potential or bringing the intensity we need to win games, we came together and implemented a “refuse to lose” concept brought forth by Coach Villano.
With only two practices to get ready for Xavier we didn’t waste any time making this concept a goal in our practices. Coach Villano created drills and game-like situations that would seem almost humanly impossible to succeed in. But as our “refuse to lose” mind-set got stronger we were able to grind through these drills, and found ourselves competing at higher levels than we ever thought possible.
In the series opener, we could see such a difference in the first few innings on how mentally intense we were playing. Unfortunately, we got away from this mind-set in the later innings and let the Musketeers pull away with a big six run 5th inning. We were unable to cut the deficit and lost 11-5.
We took the last two games of the series with the Musketeers while bringing our “refuse to lose” mind-set for all nine innings this time. With these two wins, we won our first series on the season. Dustin Hunter started Saturday on the hill and Nick Smith started Sunday, both with very impressive performances. We also saw solid late inning pitching from our bullpen. In Saturday’s contest we scored 8 runs on 11 hits and Sunday we scored 6 runs on 7 hits. These two victories were a team effort, we found ourselves stringing together hits up and down the order, along with people stepping up and getting the job done.
We take our two game win streak into a home weekend series against Bradley, where we are looking to continue to bring our mental intensity and play with the passion and heart we did this past weekend.
“It is a privilege to wear purple, just like it’s a privilege to get up every day and live life to it’s fullest”
-Freshman Infielder/Outfielder Brent Turner