Senior outfielder Jake Hall described the squad as a “hard working and cohesive team, focused on one goal of winning the MAC.”
After a close game against the No. 2 team in the country, SUNY Cortland, the Mustangs are going into conference play with a record of 5-6. They lost to SUNY Cortland 5-4 off of a walkoff homerun. Despite the loss, freshman Zach Kaye only allowed four hits and a run as he struck out nine through the first six innings.
Senior pitcher Austin Reitz, explained how the team learned from their loss against Cortland: “We learned that our offensive line-up is deep, and that Kaye is going to be big for us in conference this year.” The team believes that this game “was not so much of a loss but more of a learning experience,” said senior pitcher Matt Phillips.
In 2016, the Mustangs ended conference play seeded lower than they wanted for the conference tournament. Because of this, the team believes that this year they are “playing harder and have a chip on their shoulders,” said Hall. The Mustangs also prepare harder for conference games because the MAC Commonwealth Conference is very competitive.
Some of the Mustangs’ biggest competition in the conference this season are Widener University, Alvernia University, and Messiah College. The Mustangs prepare for these rival teams by poring over videos of their opponents, learning weak spots, and monitoring errors. Pitchers will scout the opponent’s hitters while hitters study how the opponent’s pitchers throw.
“Defensively, we set up differently for every hitter. We set up where our coaches think is the best spot to make the catch,” said junior outfielder Johnny D’Aqaunno.
“Every time we step on the field, we expect to win,” said Hall. The Mustangs hope to do well in their first conference games and eventually come out on top in the standings.
The Mustangs started their conference run with a three-game series against Widener University March 19-20. They took the first game in the series 3-2, but then dropped the next two games 11-0 and 4-3. With the victory in the first game of the series, sophomore pitcher Daniel Williams improved to 2-0 this season. He allowed six hits and two runs while striking out two without issuing a walk.
The Mustangs will play at home on Friday, March 24, starting at 1 p.m. against Arcadia University. The team’s home field is near the tennis courts on the Greenspring campus.