It has been a rough second half of the season for the Wittenberg Tigers Baseball team. On March 22 the Tigers had a record of 13-3, and the team seemed poised for a great season. But, since then the team has struggled to a 6-13 record, and a 5-9 record in conference. However even with these recent struggles, the team still has a chance to be the NCAC West Division’s second representative in the NCAC Conference Tournament. But for that to happen, the Tigers must come up with a sweep and some help.
Most importantly, the Tigers must sweep their doubleheader with Ohio Wesleyan on Sunday, April 22; then, Denison and Wabash must split their doubleheader on the same day. This would set the Tigers up for a nerve racking Wittfest, as Wabash would make up a rain-out doubleheader with Depauw on April 28th. Depauw, which is in first place in the division, must then take one of two from Wabash. If all of these results fall into place, the Baseball team would then keep its season alive for another week.
Now onto the actual games, in the last week the Tigers had Senior Day celebrations, traveled to Kentucky to play Thomas More, and split the first doubleheader of the weekend with OWU. The Tigers lost a pair of games to Kenyon on Sunday, April 15, by scores of 6-12 and 5-11.
The games marked the last weekend home games that the teams’ seniors will play at Wittenberg. It was a rough send off for the seniors as Kenyon had their way with the Tigers on offense and the Tigers struggled in the field. The good news for the team was that these losses did not affect them in the division race. The team then traveled to Thomas Moore on Thursday and lost 6-12. In the opening two games of the OWU series, the Tigers prevailed 6-3 before losing 1-11.
The Tigers will be saying good bye to seniors Andy Sharek, Time Little, Brad Prewitt, Matt Hamp, Matt Rupert, Touby Bender and Ted Skalla. Their departure will leave a huge hole for the team to overcome, as they compromise 5 of the top 7 pitchers for the Tigers this year. Hamp was a preseason all-conference player coming into the season, and is leading the team in almost every hitting category.
It will be tough for the returning Tigers to make up for these losses, but with most of the position players returning the team should be able to build on the solid 2012 season.
“We will really miss all of the seniors,” said junior pitcher Kevin Tolle. “It has been a pleasure to play with them, and we know we will have some big shoes to fill going forward next year. Hopefully we can send them out in style with a trip to the NCAC Tournament and then make some noise there.”
If the Tigers can’t win the OWU series, their last game will be at home on Thursday, April 26 against Ohio Northern.
(Dan Sabol / firstname.lastname@example.org)