POTEAU, Okla. — The Southwestern baseball team competed hard all weekend, but dropped two of three games here against host Carl Albert State, with Sunday’s doubleheader getting rained out.
“I love our group from the aspect they aren’t afraid of anyone and never quit competing,” head coach Brian “Bull” Smith said. “Give us 15 to 20 games under our belts, and I think we’ll click.”
That never quit attitude helped the Spartans, who split Saturday’s doubleheader with a 4-2 loss and a 6-5 win.
The Spartans had one bad inning in the first game that put them in a hole, but Smith said the team gave itself a chance to win.
Southwestern fell behind early in the nightcap, but battled back, preserving the win in dramatic fashion.
“Victor Fermin was outstanding in relief in his debut,” Smith said of the freshman pitcher from Kissimmee, Fla., who pitched three-plus scoreless innings. “Manny Rivera pitched the seventh for his second save as Brock Daniels threw out the tying run at the plate for the last out.”
Smith said sophomores Seth Lieser and Dillon Coates had big weekends at the plate, while Lawrence Moore provided the Spartans with a spark, as well.
“Lieser and Coates swung the crap out of it all weekend,” he said. “Moore was a force, also. He stole six bases in three games.”
Monday’s game did not go as well for Southwestern, losing 5-2 in nine innings.
Errors plagued the Spartans in the loss.
“We made way too many mistakes to win,” Smith said. “Three errors led to three unearned runs. Three 0-2 count hits with runners in scoring position. Two runners thrown out at the plate on first and third situations.”
Southwestern also struggled with runners in scoring position, striking out seven times with runners in scoring position. The Spartans also had two pop-up bunts with runners on first and second with no outs.
“Carl Albert State is very good,” Smith said. “Just too many mistakes against good teams, but we’ll be fine. We competed really well all weekend.”
Southwestern now stands at 4-3 for the season. The Spartans return to action Saturday in Boone against DMACC in the conference opener, before hosting DMACC at 1 p.m. Sunday.