Baseball earns eight straight splits in GLVC play

Photo by Steve Woltmann Dalton Hottle has been hot, and has the team's best record.

Photo by Steve Woltmann
Dalton Hottle has been hot, and has the team’s best record.

David Ridderhoff, Sports Editor

Baseball in general is a sport in which most teams will be close to .500 near the end of the season. A winning percentage over .600 or under .400 is considered exceptionally good or bad. So it’s not a surprise that the Lewis University baseball team is sitting with a record just above .500, 22-17 (11-9).

The manner in which they’ve gotten there, however, has proved quite strange, as the team has split eight consecutive two-game series with Great Lakes Valley Conference opponents.

The GLVC season started out with the team’s first four game sweep of a GLVC opponent since 2013, as they took all four against UW-Parkside, including coming just one out away from a no-hitter from sophomore starter Dalton Hottle, who is sitting at 5-1 at time of publication. The four game sweep was the best possible start to GLVC play.

“To win four straight at home you need a lot of things going your way,” said head coach Tim McDonough in an interview following the series. “Offensively we were pretty locked in most of the weekend. I thought our starting pitching all gave us a chance, and I thought our bullpen came in and cleaned it up really well.”

The team has been earning splits in most two game double-headers and four game series since then. The strangest came in a double-header with No. 10 Quincy. In the first game, the Flyers were dominated 14-1.

In the second game, however, they woke up and dominated the Hawks by a score of 16-5, which included them jumping out to a 16-0 lead. Sophomore Ethan Bloom hit his eighth home run of the season, which leads the team, and junior Jake Herron picked up the victory to move him to 4-3 on the year.

The GLVC Tournament begins on May 12, and the team is setting themselves up nicely to be a tough test for any elite GLVC teams. With players like Hottle, senior star Austin Mastela and sophomore sluggers Bloom and Neal Tyrell leading the way, the Flyers will be a tough out for any team that faces them, and could be another Flyer team that finds a way to make a big run at a GLVC crown.

David Ridderhoff is a junior Radio/TV broadcast major. He is the sports editor for The Flyer. He is also the general manager of Lewis’ radio station, WLRA. As an avid sports fan, he also collects hats and jerseys from a variety of sports teams.

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