Pitching, defense prove powerful

by Phillip Nicolino

After getting off to a good start in Florida, the baseball team seems to be finding its groove as its conference schedule approaches.

The men have pushed their overall record to 11-5 after taking on some tough competition this past week.

“We performed pretty well,” said senior Andy Walker. “We had one game that we had one bad inning, but we fought back and played well against some tough teams.”

The Storm took on Truman State, a Division II school, Wednesday, March 20. But there didn’t seem to be any hesitation playing a team from a higher division. Simpson won the first game 7-4 and the second 4-2.

“Truman State was a good day,” said senior Tony Coppola. “We came out and controlled that game from the start and showed that we can hang with a Division II school.”

In the first game, senior Brent Delger went 2-3 with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs. The two home runs that Delger hit were the 22nd and 23rd for his career, which ties the school record.

The Storm played in the Washington Tournament on Saturday and Sunday in St. Louis, Mo. They played two games each against Washington University and Illinois Wesleyan.

The first game against Illinois Wesleyan Saturday ended in a 13-0 loss. But Simpson quickly rebounded later that day to beat Washington 8-2.

Coppola was 3-5 with one run and one RBI and junior Scott Sibbel was 2-5 with two RBIs against Washington.

The roles were reversed Sunday, as Simpson lost to Washington 4-3 in 8 innings in the afternoon after defeating Illinois Wesleyan 7-1 in the morning.

Coppola went 4-4 with a run and RBI in the first game and 2-3 with a run and three RBIs in the second game. Sophomore Brett Murphy had one hit, one run and three RBIs against Illinois Wesleyan.

There a few things that the Storm are doing well that have helped get them off to a good start. Defense and pitching may be the two things that are leading to most of the team’s success.

“Our defense as a whole is a lot better than it was last year and our pitching has been doing an excellent job,” Walker said.

Part of the reason for the success early this season is the confidence that the team carries with them. They know that they have talent; it is just a matter of applying it and dealing with adversity.

“We are a good team this season and we have had success,” Coppola said. “But when we don’t feel that success, we have to stay motivated and play through the adversity.”