GGC baseball suffered its third loss of the season, dropping a mid-week contest to 12th-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan University. The Grizzlies weren’t themselves at the plate, striking out 10 times and only totaling five hits in the game.
“We were dead from start to finish. We never really woke up,” sophomore second baseman Cam Coursey said of the loss.
“Wednesday everybody was timid. We had a big, long meeting about it… I think that’s why we came into this weekend series really aggressive and kind of angry,” starting pitcher Gregory Loukinen said.
Loukinen certainly wasn’t timid Friday, and he set the tempo on the mound for the weekend series going right after the 18th-ranked Webber Warrior hitters. Exiting after six innings of work, Loukinen struck out 10, giving up only two earned runs.
The Grizzly offense also got back on track in game one. Coursey went 3-4 with a triple and four runs batted in to go along with senior Brandon Frazier’s 4-4 performance where he drove in two runs in the 10-3 win. Coursey gave all the credit to his teammates, saying that having senior Brody Wofford hit behind him in the lineup has gotten him much better pitches to swing at because opposing teams don’t want to walk him with “Big Woff” coming up next.
“In that meeting (Wednesday) we really focused on having an approach, being aggressive, and having intent at the plate. We talked about looking to do damage rather than just hitting it and hoping something good happens,” Coursey said.
Saturday’s doubleheader proved just how refocused the Grizzly hitters were as they put up a combined 22 runs on 28 hits. The 11-7 and 11-1 wins were highlighted by a home run in each game from senior shortstop Brenton Burgess, bringing his team leading total to three on the season.
“I’m just being patient and listening to my coaches and teammates, waiting for a pitch I can drive and trying not to miss it,” said Burgess.
Junior right-handed pitcher Hunter Dollander was on the mound for game three of the series and is now the only Grizzly pitcher to have won each of his first three starts this season. His strikeout totals have been up since last season, and he credits that fact and his overall consistency thus far to the coaching staff trusting him each weekend to get his job done.
“I’ve just been trying to fill up the strike zone lately, and sometimes that translates to strikeouts,” Dollander said.
Come out for the Grizzlies’ next home series as they play a doubleheader this Sunday, Feb. 24, against University of Northwestern Ohio starting at 1 p.m.