By Nate Morley
Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning”s not everything, it”s the only thing.” Baseball coach Vance Law created his own Lombardi-esque statement this weekend when the Cougars won the last game of their three-game series against the San Jose State Spartans, 3-2.
“Losing is an attitude as is winning, if you start falling into losing as an acceptable option then it becomes part of your makeup,” Law said. “I try to fight that with our players.”
The Cougars displayed their winning attitude Saturday, Feb. 21, with a 10-inning victory over the Spartans.
The Cougars scored the winning run when senior catcher Adam Wilkes singled home outfielder Kory Knell in the top of the tenth. Knell started the inning off with double down the left field line. The Cougar defense then shut down the Spartans in the bottom of the inning to hold on to the win.
The victory moves the Cougars closer to their goal of getting to .500 for the season.
“You hate to be playing catch up all year, trying to get back to even,” Law said. “Baseball”s different than some other sports. If you have a .500 season usually that”s pretty good. We”ve set our sights a lot higher than that here.”
The pitching staff was the main reason the Cougars beat the Spartans on Saturday. The staff performed to near perfection in the three-game series. They gave up only six earned runs in the series.
“I”ve been relatively pleased with the way our pitching has come along,” Law said. “We”ve had a couple of pretty darn good performances where guys have kept us in games and had we executed offensively we probably would have won.”
Law said he has been pleased with the pitching of juniors Lance Beus, Nathan Hess and Patrick Wells, as well as sophomore Justin Su”a. These pitchers were all unknowns coming into the season, but have shown they have great potential, Law said.
Although the pitching staff is performing well, the Cougar hitters are still struggling to put runs on the board. The offense didn”t contribute in Thursday and Friday”s games when the Cougars lost, 4-3 and 2-1. Senior first baseman Tim Law said the offense needs to improve if the Cougars want to win more games.
“The pitchers are holding us in ballgames,” Tim Law said. “There”s no reason the offense should be performing the way that we are right now.”
Sophomore shortstop Brandon Taylor said the Cougars are bothered by their offensive output.
“I think the general feeling among the team is frustration because of the teams we”ve faced,” Taylor said. “We”re a lot more talented. Mentally, we”re just not there.”
Tim Law said the team recognizes its problems and is working hard to correct them.
“We just need to get better,” Tim Law said. “Everyone knows right now we”re not playing well. We need to build on it and go at it one game at a time and continue to improve on the things we have done well.”