The Truman baseball team split games with conference opponent Lincoln University on Tuesday. The ’Dogs lost the first game of the series 2-4 after leaving five runners on base and only getting three hits in 23 at-bats.
Senior catcher Devon Myers said the team couldn’t get things in order offensively in the first game.
“We just didn’t have very timely hitting,” Myers said. “We hit the ball hard, we just didn’t hit to the right side that would’ve driven people in.”
Sophomore pitcher Tim Lee tallied the loss, allowing three earned runs and seven hits in six innings pitched. Lee now is 1-2 for the season with a 6.23 ERA.
The ’Dogs’ offensive woes have plagued them all season. They rank 11th in the MIAA in team batting average with a .255 team average and are tied for last in the conference in runs scored. The team is last in the conference in hits, slugging percentage, home runs and total bases.
Head coach Dan Davis said the Bulldogs’ tough opening schedule bears part of the blame for the team’s struggles.
“Our start of the year has been a tough start,” Davis said. “We’re playing a lot of good competition, but [during] the last three weekends, we’ve had opportunities to split. And we just haven’t gotten it done. … We could easily be 6-6 over the last three weekends, but instead we’re 2-10.”
During the second game, the Bulldogs addressed their offensive concerns to the tune of 11 runs in 12 hits to win 11-5 against Lincoln.
Sophomore Daniel Jewett started the game on the mound for the ’Dogs, pitching three and two-thirds innings and allowing two hits with four strikeouts. It was senior Tyler Stefan, however, who scooped up the win, tallying his first win of the season. Jewett added a 3-5 hitting performance to his pitching on the mound as he scored three runs.
The 11-run total is the most the team has scored all season. Myers helped the cause with his first home run of the season while senior outfielder Weston Lewis led the team with three RBIs.
The team’s high run total was scored against a Lincoln team that currently has a team ERA of more than seven runs a game. The Blue Tigers’ pitching staff has allowed the second-most hits in the conference, finishing only behind the Bulldogs’ competition for next weekend, Northwest Missouri State University.
Last weekend, Truman picked up one win out of four games played against Emporia State University.
The Hornets came into the game with a 4.69 team ERA and the conference’s highest team batting average at .349. The Bulldogs lost 12-1 in the first game before junior pitcher Logan Siegler threw a nine-inning gem. Allowing only five hits total, and one after the fourth inning, Siegler’s efforts allowed the game to continue into extra innings. The ’Dogs lost during the 10th as they couldn’t capitalize on any of their 10 hits.
The Bulldogs’ lone win of the weekend came Sunday during extra innings, as they won 5-4 against the Hornets. Freshman pitcher Bret Gerstner said it felt good to pick up a win against such a good team.
“It’s always good to get a win against anybody ranked in the top 30,” Gerstner said. “Overall, I think we played pretty solid [this weekend].”
The ’Dogs will stay in Kirksville this weekend as they play a four-game series against the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats. The Bearcats currently have a 7.42 team ERA and have allowed 262 hits this season.
Davis said the best is yet to come for his team.
“We’re starting to pitch it pretty good,” he said. “We’re starting to get on base and do all kinds of things. I told our guys, I want us to be playing our best baseball. We had to survive our schedule early because we were playing some really good teams.”