Skippers getting roughed up! 1-7 in conference

Michael Scott

Staff Writer

 

Eventually all good things come to an end. To the Skippers, that means their mid-to-late March surge is over.

The SC4 men’s baseball team (8-20) has been getting roughed up since beginning MCCAA conference play on March 24.

Losers in seven of their last eight contests, the Skippers have been outscored by opponents by a combined score of 19-30.

Their lone conference victory came Saturday, March 31, in a 4-3 nail-biter at the courtesy of Ancilla College.

Head Coach Mike Greene has been very critical as of late.

“Each loss is worse than the other,” he said. “I haven’t seen something like this in my 25 years in this sport.”

The once hot Skipper’s bats have gone cold in recent weeks. Their season has taken a painful downturn ever since closing non-league play on an incredible run last month.

Player #13, Pat Russell, slides into third base at their home game, at Sanborn Park in Port Huron on March 31, 2012. Photo by Liz Whittemore

Player #13, Pat Russell, slides into third base at their home game, at Sanborn Park in Port Huron on March 31, 2012. Photo by Liz Whittemore

“We haven’t figured out how to get outs or base hits when we need them,” Greene said. “This is the most frustrated I’ve been as a coach.”

Centerfielder Charles Melvin and Catcher Kyle Holtman have been the offensive standouts for the Skippers. Melvin has set the table walking 17 times. The offensive catalyst is hitting .329 with an OBP of .468. Furthermore, he currently sits at eighth place in the NJCAA with 24 stolen bases.

Holtman (.361/.384) is no slouch at the dish either. He currently leads the young squad with three homeruns and 20 RBI’s.

Second baseman Tyler Castro has also infused himself into the offense. Since joining the starting lineup in early March, he is 14/39, with an average of .359 and OPB of .509.

Other notable contributors on offense are Blake Harrell (.316/.337), Kellan Holliday (.281/.351/17 RBI’s) and first baseman Donavon Rigel (.281/.323/1 HR/11 RBI’s).

Despite the recent lack of offense, the SC4 pitching has been solid.

Lefty ace Tim O’Callaghan (1-4), has pitched well despite owning a losing record. His 2.97 earned run average leads the staff. He has also struck out 25 batters in 36.1 innings of work.

Mickal Helton (3-2) and Layton White (3-4) are tied for the team lead in games won.

Helton possesses a 3.65 ERA and 25 strikeouts through 32 innings pitched. White’s stat line has been similar. Through 45 innings, he has managed a 3.60 ERA and struck out 29 opposing batters.

Greene has expressed the importance of a turnaround for the remainder of the season if the team wants to make the Region XII playoffs in Battle Creek.

“We need to go on a real big run here to do something special,” he said.

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