The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Baseball poised for a run at the playoffs

By Patrick Murphy

Momentum. Right now Mac baseball has it. After a seven game skid, which included opening conference play 0-4, the Scots have won their last five in a row to move their record to 13-12 overall and 4-4 in the MIAC. As of April 15th, the Scots were tied for 5th in the MIAC. With 12 conference games remaining, the team still has ample opportunity to move into the top 4 of the MIAC and make the playoffs.

The Scots have outscored their opponents 43-13 in their past five games. Offensively, the Scots have been led by captain and shortstop Nate Wilson-Traisman ’10. Wilson-Traisman is in the top three in the MIAC in virtually every major hitting category: he has a .476 batting average (3rd), a .714 slugging percentage (3rd), 40 hits (2nd), 33 RBI (1st), and three home runs (3rd). In the Scots’ last game against North Central, Wilson-Traisman went 5-for-6 with five runs and four RBI.

Other major offensive contributors have been catcher Graham Brown ’12, third baseman and captain Devin English ’10, second baseman Mitch Glasser ’12, and catcher Robert Williams ’12.

Brown is leading the team in batting average at .488 with 21 hits and 6 stolen bases. English is hitting .390 with 32 hits and 12 RBI. Glasser is hitting .337 with 29 hits, 13 RBI, and is leading the team with 7 stolen bases. Williams, who along with Brown has had an increased role catching due to an elbow injury to Garrett Salzman ’12, is hitting .333 with 23 hits and 13 RBI.

Williams attributes much of the team’s success to success in the field.

“Our pitching… has been great, and our defense has backed them up,” Williams said.

There have been solid pitching performances by several pitchers in each of the team’s victories. When the Scots have needed a big win this season, they have turned to ace starting pitcher James Murrey ’10. Murrey took the mound against St. Mary’s needing to snap the Scots’ 7-game skid, and he did so by throwing a 2-hit gem while mowing down 13 during a 7-inning complete game shutout. Murrey has been one of the top pitchers in the MIAC this season, and he currently holds a 2.25 ERA with four wins and 57 strikeouts in 36 innings.

“James has been absolutely amazing, he is pitching extremely well and makes my life behind the plate very easy,” Williams said. “He has been a huge part of why this team is succeeding right now.”

There were a string of other solid pitching performances during the win streak. Louie Mondale ’12 gave up a pair of runs through five innings while striking out six against North Central, Will Chen ’11 and Trevor McCalmont ’12 teamed-up to hold Augsburg to one run in the second game of a doubleheader sweep, and in the second game of the St. Mary’s doubleheader, Alex Ingram ’11 threw five shutout innings before Chen came in to close the door with two shutout innings of his own.

If the offense can continue to consistently produce and the pitching can continue to hold teams as they have been in the past five games, the Scots will be tough to beat down the stretch.

“It is a great group of guys and a good coach to play for. It is all about playing ball like you know how,” Glasser said.

However, there will be some stiff competition against conference rivals in games against St. Olaf, Gustavus, and Bethel in the coming weeks, which Williams predicted will be “dogfights.”

The Scots have a big conference doubleheader against MIAC powerhouse St. Olaf this Saturday at Macalester. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

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