Tigers take two of three vs. VolsPublished 11:56am Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Despite taking two of three from the Clay-Central Volunteers in their area-slate opening series, the Dadeville Tigers aren’t satisfied with how they’re playing.
In fact, if you were to ask DHS baseball coach Randy Nolen, the Tigers have some things to work on.
“We won two of three, so that’s a plus. But, we’ve been struggling at the plate,” Nolen said. “We’re not having good at-bats, and we’re struggling with runners in scoring position.”
In game one this past Friday, Jack Stephenson went eight innings strong as the Tigers erased a three-run deficit to eventually pull out a 5-4 victory in 10 innings.
The offense was stymied, however. DHS only put up four hits, and three of their five runs were unearned.
Stephenson did not get a decision, allowing four runs while striking out seven.
On Saturday, DHS and Clay-Central split a double-header.
Stephenson and Trevor McKinley each drove in two runs, and McKinley got the win from the mound in game one, a 6-2 decision in favor of the Tigers.
However, control was an issue, as McKinley walked nine batters on the day.
The pitching woes continued into game two, as Dadeville coughed up an 8-3 lead before losing 13-11.
“We made some defensive mistakes, but (losing the lead) was the biggest disappointment,” Nolen said. “We had trouble throwing strikes on Saturday, and that’s something we hadn’t struggled with all season. We were up and had a chance to put them away, but we lost concentration or something. We walked some guys, gave up a hit here, made an error there and the next thing you know, we’ve let them back into the game. It was non-typical, to tell you the truth. It was kind of a shock. We’ve got to keep our focus and put games like that away, especially area games like that.”
Nolen said that with a light schedule this week – the Tigers play St. James on Tuesday and are off until Saturday when area opponent Beulah comes to town – the team can refocus itself on working out the kinks.
“We’ve been playing a lot, and our pitchers haven’t had much time in the pen,” Nolen said. “It seems like every time they throw, it’s in a game. We’ve got to get in the pen and get our confidence back.”
As far as hitting, Nolen said he knows what the team can do offensively, but patience would be key as the Tigers work themselves out of their funk.
“Hitting is a mental thing. I know they can hit, and they’ve done so in the past,” he said. “But mechanically, we’re lunging and staying too far out in front. We’re taking too many strikes. But I think it’ll come. I’m waiting patiently for it.”