Gophers swept by Barlow in a three-game series, learns team bonding lesson

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The baseball team had three chances to use their pitching skills to outsmart the Bruins’ batting abilities. However, because of at least one major inning in each game, the Gophers struck out their chances.

On Apr. 20 to 26, the team played Barlow during a week chock-full of rain and rescheduled games. In the first game, the team was winning up until the eighth inning with junior pitcher Hunter Crenshaw, but the game had to be stopped and rescheduled for a different day because it got rained out. Thus meaning, according to head coach Chad Waples, their strong pitcher was also changed.

For Waples, this may be one of the reasons why the game changed, rounding out for a win for Barlow.

“We’re usually up in those crunch-time scenarios, but we just weren’t getting over the hurdles,” Waples said.

Those hurdles were the facts that Barlow had a substantial upper hand when it came to hitting and running the bases.

“Our pitching has been pretty good, but we’re having a tough time scoring runs. Barlow has solid hitting, and they can score runs pretty easily,” junior Cody Becker, a pitcher and first baseman, said.

For sophomore Trevor Nannini, part of the reason why the team lost those precious games was because of their inability to not give up, even if they were losing.

“We expected to have a chance to win games against Barlow and even win the series because of the way we looked in previous games. When we played [against Barlow], we just couldn’t catch [enough] breaks to go our way, and it was hard because then the team would get down,” Nannini said. “For us, for some reason it’s hard to get back out of that and get to playing baseball again.”

Sore players may be getting in the way of their skills, but Becker sees a different way that the team can look forward to succeeding in the near future.

“Everyone is trying to do too much, and they’re letting the pressure get to them, so they need to relax. [Also, the team needs to] focus more at practice. There’s usually a lot of goofing off at practice, and there needs to be more focusing on getting better,” Becker said.

Although the Gophers have been falling behind the Bruins with this latest series, the players’ ability to rally match their experience.

“We’re a young team. It’s just a matter of getting those kids out there and placing them in the right places,” Waples said.

Next year when they meet Barlow, they will be able to take these lessons into the series, whether it be overcoming adversity or fighting for every win.

“Something that Barlow had that we seemed to lack was the want to win the games. We could have won two out of three, but they wanted the games more than we did. That’s what cost us and that’s something you can’t coach,” Nannini said.

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Gophers swept by Barlow in a three-game series, learns team bonding lesson