Volume 97 Issue 9 Sports

Men’s spring sports update

by Alyssa Fasolo

With the spring sports season well underway, several of the men’s teams are looking to improve upon last season’s outcome.  The players and coaches have set big goals for the 2016 season.

The baseball team currently holds a record of 7-16 with a conference play record of 3-6.  The team began its season on Feb. 20 with two losses to Eastern Mennonite by scores of 21-3 and 8-6.  The team then traveled south to Florida, where it went 3-5.  The Eagles lost games to King’s (Pa.) 17-10 and 5-1, Cazenovia 10-3, Albion 17-2 and Ursinus 7-2.  They came home with wins against Cazenovia 6-5 in eight innings, Ursinus 13-3 and Cairn 10-7.

After returning from Florida, the team won its first conference series against Merchant Marine 2-1, defeating them 9-0 in the first game, dropping the second game 5-1 and coming back to take the third game 9-8.  The Eagles split with Penn State Altoona, losing the first game 5-4 but winning the second game 4-3.  The team lost its series against conference rival Susquehanna 3-0, with scores of 11-9, 12-4 and 7-2.  Following that, the Eagles were defeated by Gettysburg 12-4.

Most recently, the team traveled to New Jersey to take on conference rival Drew. The Eagles lost the series 2-1, winning the first game 4-0 in six innings but losing the next two 6-1 and 3-2.

Heading into this season, the players were unsure of what to expect with a new coach running the program; Adam Sheibley took over as head coach this year.

“I didn’t really know what to expect because coming off of last year,” senior outfielder and pitcher David DeFreest said. “Obviously we had a drastic coaching change, and I was really excited knowing that we were going to have somebody who was full-time dedicated to baseball and came from such a good coaching background hoping that the program could just take a turn for the better,”

Sheibley expressed that he expected the team to always be competitive.

“My expectations were just to go out and compete every game,” Sheibley said.  “Just play up to our ability and not necessarily put a win total on the season but do whatever we can to prepare in our early games to then get into conference play, and that’s the big thing for us: to just be able to compete within the conference and at the end of the season give ourselves a chance to keep playing and play as many games as possible for our senior class.”

Sheibley also added that his goal for the team was to reach its personal potential.

“Our team goal at the beginning of the season was to be the best team that we are capable of being,” Sheibley said.  “I didn’t come in and expect them to (have) 30 wins and (be) nationally ranked and all those other things.  I’ve told them from the beginning that as long as we work as hard as we can do everything within our capabilities, then that’s going to be the expectations.  If we are as good as we can possibly be, then that’s success for us.”

With much of the season left to go, the players and coaches are looking to make improvements in order to find success in the post season.

“We just need to play more fundamental baseball, take care of the baseball and play complete games,” Sheibley said.  “The big innings are what really kill us the most, so we need to minimize those.”

The athletes are optimistic about where they will be at the end of the season.

“I think that we’re going to be better than all of us expected to be,” DeFreest said.  “I think that we’ve all learned to love the game a lot more throughout this whole entire year.”

The men’s tennis team also began its season in Pennsylvania before heading to Florida for Spring Break.  The season kicked off on Feb. 19 with a loss to regionally ranked Salisbury by a score of 6-3.  The Eagles bounced back, however, to defeat Bridgewater (Va.) on Feb. 20, winning 6-3.  The team went on to drop its match against Hobart on Feb. 27 by a score of 8-1.

The team headed to Orlando, Florida, for Spring Break on March 5.  It finished the week 2-3, with victories against King’s (Pa.) and Wittenberg and losses to Ohio Wesleyan, Lake Forest and Colorado College.  

Upon returning from Florida, the team defeated Gettysburg 5-3 before dropping its match to Ursinus 6-3.  The team came out victorious in its first conference match of the season, defeating Moravian 8-1.

The men’s track and field team opened up its season in the winter with a meet at Lehigh on Dec. 5.  The team competed in January after returning from winter break with meets at Susquehanna on Jan. 22, Feb. 6, 12 and 20 and Bucknell on Jan. 29 and 30.  The team competed in the Landmark Conference Championship on Feb. 27.

The Eagles hosted the Juniata Invitational on March 19 and competed at the Jim Taylor Invitational on March 26.  Most recently, the team competed at the Frostburg Invitational on April 2.

The athletes are happy with their performance so far this season.

“We’ve done pretty well,” senior Matthew Kinnebrew said.  “In the indoor conference meet, we scored a significant amount of points more than we were expected to score, which is breaking the expectations, and a lot of people PR’ed.”

The team’s goal is to improve with each and every meet.

“Our end result is definitely giving as much effort as we can to improve ourselves meet by meet,” Kinnebrew said.

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