Though the season is only six games old, Eastern’s baseball team already faces an uphill battle.
As the weather slowly starts to become more baseball-friendly, the Eagles will look to rebound from a devastating opening stretch against some of the region’s more powerful teams in which they dropped their first six games.
The Eagles opened the season with a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Mary Washington by scores of 4-1 and 7-3. Though the Eagles received strong pitching performances from senior Austin Little and freshman Chris Marinaccio, the offense sputtered as they collected a total of four hits in the two games.
The Eagles followed up the doubleheader with an overpowering three game road trip in which they dropped three games against Methodist and Lynchburg by a combined score of 34-4. Fortunately, the Eagles were able to right the ship a bit in their final game of the trip, a 6-4 loss to Lynchburg that saw the Eagles achieve their highest run total of the season and nearly come away with the victory behind strong pitching from Little and senior Jordan Miller.
As the Eagles move forward, their schedule will begin sprinkling in several conference opponents, including Manhattanville (March 14-16) and FDU-Florham (21-22). The Eagles achieved decent success within the Freedom Conference last season, and this part of the schedule could provide an opportunity for growth.
Hitting-wise, sophomore outfielder Angelo Kelly has been a bright spot, surging to a team leading .385 batting average out of the gates. Meanwhile, the pitching staff has been led by Little’s 4.91 ERA in his two appearances so far this season.
Though the overall statistics paint a grim picture—a .145 team batting average and an 8.40 team ERA—the sample size is still far too small to pass any judgments on the remainder of the season. If a premium is placed on scoring more runs, a clear weak spot in the early stages of the season, the Eagles will have a chance to soar, not crash, in April and beyond.