Defensive drama

Westmont baseball drops four in Fullerton

Aaron Best, Staff Writer

Westmont Baseball made its way to Fullerton this past weekend for a four-game series against Hope International University. The Warriors are currently ranked #13 in the NAIA with a season that is simultaneously promising and troubling. The team has easily blown through many opponents this season, handing Saint Katherine, Simpson and San Diego Christian double-digit defeats in February. Their first series in March was a much different story.

The Warriors ended up dropping all four games to the Royals, not showing the same prowess they’ve recently demonstrated on the field. This puts them on a five-game skid, which finds them at 10-9 overall and only 1-6 when they’re playing games away from Russell Carr Field.

This season, the team has really struggled to put together victories when they aren’t playing at home.

The weekend was marked by the lack of defensive focus from the Warriors. They committed nine errors in the first two games and seven in the final two. Missing simple plays put the Royals up early and let them close the games handily. The Warriors were putting runs on the board, but it simply wasn’t enough.

It was far from a perfect weekend, but when I asked third-year center fielder Paul Mezurashi about what he thinks the team needs to fix, he said the solution is simple: “Flush what’s happened and focus inning by inning. Keeping attention to detail and just being absolute dogs.” 

Attention to detail wins baseball games. Having a team full of dogs does, too. Luckily, the Westmont baseball team has no shortage of dogs in the dugout. Fourth-year Alex Stufft sent a two-run shot out of the park in Saturday’s opener. Fourth-year John Jensen and fourth-year Josh Rego put up a homerun and a two-run double, respectively. Bats like these are the reason the Warriors have been putting up 17-1, 10-0 and 10-1 victories all season long. So weekends like this, while disappointing, aren’t the end of the world for the Warriors. They’ve shown themselves to be downright dangerous time and time again. Lucky for them, they’ll have the chance to bounce very soon.

March 9 finds the Warriors battling Azusa Pacific, a team that never goes down easy. The home field advantage and a chip on their shoulder should give Westmont an extra edge for victory. The team will travel to William Jessup for a quick two-game GSAC series on March 12 and 13. The last time the Warriors played William Jessup, they dominated, taking three victories out of four games.

At this point in the season, the Warriors are just getting started. A losing streak isn’t just managed, it’s conquered. With a few days to rest and a team full of dogs, the turnaround will be quick, swift and oh-so-sweet.

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