It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…
That’s right: baseball is here. Tribe baseball kicked off its season this weekend, taking 2-of-3 games against the University of Rhode Island. Going into the series, the Tribe was ranked 168th in the NCAA, while URI stood at 70th.
You read that correctly. URI was ranked a good 98 teams above W&M. This bodes well for Wednesday, when the Tribe will take on 3rd ranked UVA at Charlottesville… right?
The main story of the weekend was the pitching. Starters Brett Koehler and Matt Wainman each earned wins, with John Farrell coming in for two saves. Freshman Jason Inghram showed promise in his starting slot in the third game, pitching a day earlier than expected due to poor weather predictions for Sunday. Matt Davenport also pitched a total of 3 1/3 scoreless relief innings over the first two games, a great start for his senior season.
Now for Michael Katz. Katz probably isn’t a name you’re too familiar with unless you listen to the radio in Missouri or watch too much Courage the Cowardly Dog, but that’s about to change. This freshman first baseman out of Falls Church, VA started his college career with the Tribe on Friday as the designated hitter. Katz drove in one of only two runs with a double to right center in the fourth. The second run was driven in on a sacrifice fly by Chris Forsten in the sixth. On Saturday, Katz replaced senior Tadd Bower at first, moving Bower to left field. The Saturday noon game looked a lot like Friday for those lucky enough to be in the stands, with Katz driving in the first run of the day with a single to left and Forsten following up with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, the pair once again driving in the Tribe’s two runs of the game. In game three Katz scored on a passed ball after singling to left, which unfortunately was not enough for a Tribe victory.
For a team that has struggled in the past with its hitting, Katz is a welcome addition to the line-up. Pitching won us our first two games, but the Tribe will need to step up its hitting if they hope to make the CAA playoffs this year. Josh Smith was another freshman stand out defensively with an impressive showing in right field.
Overall a great weekend for Tribe baseball. Final scores were 2-1 (W), 2-1 (W), and 4-3 (L).
Megan’s Game Balls:
Friday 2/17 4pm: Brett Koehler (W, 1-0, 7 scoreless innings, 5 strikeouts)
Saturday 2/18 12pm: Michael Katz (1B – 1 for 3, 1 RBI)
Saturday 2/18 2:45pm: Ryan Lindemuth (3B – 2 for 4, 1 run scored)