The Waynesburg University baseball team played in its first home game of the season with a doubleheader against the Allegheny Gators.
Head coach Mike Humiston wasn’t pleased his team’s performance in the first game, a 9-3 loss to Allegheny College.
“We didn’t arrive at the field to play baseball during the first game against Allegheny,” Humiston said. “We didn’t pitch, hit or play defense very well.”
The Yellow Jackets gave up seven runs over the first three innings.
Humiston knows that the team can’t let that happen, particularly when the offense wasn’t doing well, either.
“Giving up seven runs in three innings can’t happen,” Humiston said. “Especially when we have errors to go along with that and having poor hitting.”
With the rough start, Humiston believes the pitchers need to finish off batters.
“Our pitchers started off ahead in most counts,” said Humiston. “We gave up too many hits on 0-2 and 1-2 counts.”
Waynesburg first scored in the bottom of the third inning when senior third baseman Tyler Reis hit his first home run of the season.
“Going into my second at-bat I decided to be more aggressive and have the ‘see to take’ mindset,” Reis said. “This means that I was swinging at that pitch until it wasn’t the pitch I was looking for or it was a ball, having that mindset allowed me to take advantage over the pitcher’s mistake.”
The Yellow Jackets started sophomore pitcher Tyler Srbinovich in game one. He struggled, allowing seven runs over 2 1/3 innings. Senior pitcher Brandon Lawless pitched the next 3 2/3 innings only giving up one run on four hits. Sophomore Carter Uzzell closed the first game against the Gators.
Allegheny went on to score four runs in the third inning and one in both the sixth and seventh inning.
The Jackets got their next two runs in the fifth inning from a two-run double by senior outfielder Mitch Nordstrom.
Junior pitcher Sean Kealey (1-2) received the win for the Gators and Srbinovich suffered the loss.
Allegheny finished the first game with 14 hits to the Yellow Jackets five.
Reis and Nordstrom both had solid days at the plate, with Reis going 2 for 3 and Nordstrom 2 for 4.
Going into the second game Humiston was hoping to learn from the mistakes of the previous game.
“The game plan was to hopefully learn from the first game, and I thought we were going to do that,” he said.
Although Humiston thought the team bounced back in the second game of the doubleheader, mistakes led to the Jackets being swept.
“We seemed to come out of the funk in the second game,” Humiston said. “We pitched and hit better but still had some errors which resulted in the second loss on the day.”
Reis agrees with Humiston on the reason a loss in the nightcap.
“Going into game two we wanted to jump on them early,” Reis said. “Mistakes happened throughout the game that Allegheny capitalized on which hurt us in the long run.”
Senior pitcher Tyler Wickline (1-1) got the start in the second game. Wickline went six innings, allowing five runs— three of which were unearned.
The Yellow Jackets drew first blood in the first inning from an RBI single off of the bat of sophomore designated hitter Chris Lee that drove in Nordstrom.
Allegheny went on to score one run in both the third and fourth innings.
The Yellow Jackets struck again in the fifth inning with an RBI single from freshman catcher Tyler Woodrow driving in Nordstrom.
Senior pitcher Joe Nagel (1-0) received the win for the Gators and Wickline suffered the loss.
The Yellow Jackets finished with nine hits to Allegheny’s eight.
Reis and Nordstrom again led the team in hits with both going 2-4.
Humiston had high praise for both Reis and Nordstrom but needs more players to step up.
“In both games Nordstrom and Reis had productive at bats,” Humiston said. “We need more than two players in a nine-man lineup to contribute.”
The Yellow Jackets look to defend their home field when they host Penn State Behrend for a doubleheader on March 20.