By Kyle Schroeder & James Macey – 1851 Staff
The men’s baseball team has not been off to a great start this season, but unfortunately, it’s been out of their control. The Lasers have had four games postponed in a row due to the weather, pushing their season back to end on April 29.
As a result, the team is set back in many ways. “It’s frustrating to say the least,” junior pitcher Brian Cohen said. “[You] prepare a week advance before the schedule comes out, it really messes with the starters, but pitchers especially.”
With the frustration building up due to weather, it’s difficult for players to stay in tune.
“We haven’t been able to get into a rhythm,” senior captain shortstop Jesse Tejero said. “We would play once, then sit down for a week and it’s hard to get into a good flow.” Being sidelined for any team is challenging, however Tejero’s attitude towards the season is upbeat.
Tejero has had to step up and be a leader this season with all the setbacks they’ve faced. “As a captain I’m the guy that needs to get everyone on track,” Tejero said. “Getting guys to be confident in themselves is definitely one of the biggest things I’ve started to pick up on.” The team is itching to get back out on the field.
With the poor weather hopefully in the rearview mirror, Head Coach Greg Harjula is confident that his team will gain momentum and start playing good baseball. The lack of rhythm from the cancellations disrupted the offense. As a result, the team averaged 2.6 runs per game in the first nine games, all of which were losses. However, with the schedule becoming normal again, the offense has sparked. Over their past six games they’ve gone 3-3 averaging 6.3 runs per game.
“We didn’t start the year like we’d hoped we would, but the guys have done a good job of making adjustments,” said Harjula. “Guys who were chasing pitches early in the year aren’t doing that now and vice versa. Our numbers aren’t what we hoped they would be to start the year, but playing more regularly has helped them.”
Pitching and defense were big struggles for the Lasers early in the season as it swung most of their games for the worse.
“A lot of our games have turned based on simple things like throwing and catching the ball,” said Harjula. “Early in the year, there were four or five games where there was one small sequence we didn’t execute, and it changed the whole inning.”
While it was a tough start, the pitching is improving. The Lasers gave up an average of seven runs per game in the first nine games which has slightly decreased to six runs within the last six games. As the team continues to get more practice time and rhythm, there is confidence that the pitching will improve.
“Our goal every year it is to compete for a conference championship, that is still our goal,” said Harjula. “The weather definitely slowed the growing process down with the lack of games, but I tell the guys that we want to be playing our best baseball at the end of the year and we are starting to do that.”
With warmer weather ahead, the team’s season will continue on with an away game at Framingham State on April 19 and a double-header facing St. Joseph’s (ME) on April 20.