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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Hilltoppers fall 8-3 amid a storm of errors and missed opportunities

Emilio Casanova / Hilltop Views
Senior Pitcher Colin Jackson at full extension, after stepping in for the injured Haeven Cichoki.

The St. Edward’s University baseball team fails to bounce back in a 8-3 defeat at the start of the series against Eastern New Mexico University in a game riddled with errors and missed opportunities. 

Things started slowly and scoreless through the first two innings before the Greyhounds stormed into the lead in the top of the third inning. Infielder Demterio Archuletas’ groundout with bases loaded allowed junior outfielder Juan Avila to open the scoring — and the Greyhounds never looked back. They ended the third inning three runs ahead, following a single from infielder Willie Ponce, allowing two runners to score and compounding what was a miserable inning for senior pitcher Jack Granack.

The Hilltoppers did put up a fight, rallying in the fourth inning in front of an energized Lucien-Hamilton Field crowd. The Hilltoppers scored two runs, one from outfielder Connor Cox and the other from infielder Trevor Sebek, following an RBI double from outfielder Davis Drewek. 

Drewek’s double was the highpoint of what was an otherwise disappointing showing for the 4-6 Hilltoppers. Head Coach Ryan Femath, while disappointed about the result and the way events unfolded, remains unfazed and  cautiously optimistic about the rest of the weekend and the rest of the season.

“I think it comes down to doing the little things, right,”  Femath said.“You gotta give credit to that pitcher over there, he did a really good job and was pounding the strike zone with multiple pitches and we just never really made adjustments all the way through on it.” 

The three errors committed by the Hilltoppers were the main point of frustration for Femath — errors which made it incredibly difficult to foster any sort of momentum against the stellar performance of Greyhound pitcher Gavin Perry. 

“I think any time, you know, you have three errors, which really could have been five, it’s tough to find a lot of the positives,” Femath said. “We need to have a short memory on it, and be ready to bounce back tomorrow.” 

The hilltoppers only scored one run in the final five innings, a period in which the Greyounds managed to score five, a barren run which is a concerning precedent to set for the rest of the weekend. 

“It’s about figuring out what kind of offense we want to be,” Femath said. “It’s about coming through with that clutch hit, just figuring out who is going to end up winning some of those jobs for us.” 

In a start to the season devastated by injuries, finding that clutch person has not been easy, especially while navigating different positional changes and fitting players into different kinds of roles. Injuries to key players, like junior Haeven Cichoki — who was pulled after less than an inning at the mound in the seventh inning due to an injury in the pitching arm and was replaced by senior Colin Jackson and then by closer Geoge Hettrick in the ninth inning — have forced this Hilltopper team to band together and preserve through moments of toughness and crisis. 

“We’ve had a little bit of adversity, we’ve had multiple injuries, guys moving into different positions,” Femath said.ENM

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