By Colton Hall
Sometimes teams need a wake-up call.
Coming off a season in which the Presentation College Saints Baseball team won a record 26 games in 2017, expectations for the 2018 season were high.
Last weekend, the Saints headed to Ozark, Missouri to take on Mount Marty College in a two-day doubleheader match-up.
It didn’t go as planned.
The Saints came away with a 1-3 record in a weekend plagued by errors, rough outings at the plate, and low energy.
“We played a very good team in Mount Marty,” head coach Michael Dahl said. “Their pitching was very good, and the first couple times at the plate we didn’t do a very good job of being productive.”
The pitching staff for the Saints had a solid weekend, but errors cost the Saints at critical times.
“They gave them (Marty Mounty) easy runs,” Dahl said of the errors. “You can’t expect to win a game when you give up unnecessary runs like that. We made it too easy for Mount Marty at times. It was a wake-up call.”
At the plate, the Saints had a hard time getting anything going until the last game in which the Saints won 3-2.
“We put everything together in the final game,” Dahl said. “That was the only game in which everything really came together, and we were able to get a win.”
While the Saints were without senior Jesse Spangler, one player can’t determine the team’s success. Not for Dahl’s team.
“Spang (Spangler) is one of our better players,” Dahl said. “He makes a lot of plays for us, and he’ll be expected to pitch for us some days, but we can’t count him on to carry the team. We’ve got to play better as a unit.”
Coming back after a tough weekend, Dahl has one goal for his team as they travel to Arizona for a week full of Saints action.
“I want to win one game a day is what I told my guys,” Dahl said. I’m hoping to play competitive baseball, and to win as many games as possible, and I want us to get going at the plate.”
Last year was the first time that the Saints had a winning record.
Before Dahl, the Saints had never been above or at .500 in team history. Dahl isn’t just building a winning team, he’s instilling a new mind set in his players.
“We’re trying to transition this program into expecting to win,” Dahl said. “We laid the foundation last year, and we have to build on that. Our boys were tired of losing last year, and they’ve come back hungrier this year.”
Last season, the Saints started by firing on all cylinders in their trip to Arizona as they went on a four-game winning streak. The Saints couldn’t finish strong as they lost their last six games in Tucson.
“We started off hot, but we wanted to give some of our guys some rest towards the end,” Dahl said. “Sometimes you need some time to rest and recuperate, and it just depends on how our focus will be.”
The Saints hope to get strong showings in Arizona to get their season moving in the right direction.