Baseball strikes out in first game of the season

Trinity baseball team loses 3-0 in home game against Birmingham Southern University


Andrew Duong

Junior pitcher Joseph Chavana

Cold winds raged last Friday as the Trinity Tiger baseball team faced off against the Birmingham Southern Panthers at home. Joseph Chavana, junior accounting major and right-handed pitcher, started the game with the first pitch. Soon, the Tiger defense was locked in a standstill with their Birmingham counterparts. Chavara noted his pitching performance was solid, with seven strikeouts and two assists during the game, however, he wasn’t satisfied.

“I think I did a good job of doing what I want with my pitches. Everything felt good. When I wanted to throw it at certain spots, it was there, so I do like that. I would say what I need to focus on is when there’s a runner on base, just being quicker on home plate because I could’ve had a few runners thrown out on second,” Chavara said.

The game came to a head in the fourth inning, as the Panthers broke through the Tigers’ defense with two runs and made the score 2-0 (Birmingham) with bases loaded. This was followed by another Panther run in the sixth inning, which brought the score to 3-0. With the tables turned against them, the Tigers switched tactics in the seventh inning, substituting pitcher Joseph Chavana with Clayton Jackson, a sophomore engineering science major, in hopes of shaking up the play.

This swap succeeded in stopping the Panthers from scoring in the seventh inning, however, by the eighth inning, the Tigers were still down by three points. The coaching staff changed tactics again by subbing Clayton Jackson with Jack Schmitt, a junior finance major. Schmitt would throw for two strikeouts in the remaining innings.

“[I’m] really just trying to execute pitches … That’s really my goal, and as far as stuff to improve on, I just want to keep that focus up,” Schmitt said.

Despite the Panther batting team’s continued effort, the Tiger defense held firm and no more runs were scored. The Tigers continued fighting until the ninth inning, and as the final whistle blew, the score stood at 3-0, with the Panthers on top. Assistant coach Andrew Waters praised the team for continuing to fight until the very end of the game.

“The way we batted on the plate wasn’t our best, but we had our resolve to compete with the two runners at the end. All you need is one hit to tie the game, and you can’t ask for too much more than that,” Waters said.

Despite their first-game loss, many on the team remain undeterred from their season goals. Last season, the Tigers placed first in the Southern Collegiate Athletics Conference (SCAC) and took part in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) World Series and Division III playoffs. Chavara stated that the team hopes to continue its momentum from the previous season both in the SCAC and the NCAA.

“I mean obviously we want to win SCAC. … I’d also like to not just get to the World Series but also get a shot to win it. Personally, I would like to keep an ERA (Earned Run Average) below three and have a good strikeout ratio,” Chavara said.

The coaching staff reflected a similar goal of continuing the team’s momentum, however, they also put an emphasis on building up the team. Waters noted that many on the team were young, newer players, which increases the need for a cohesive team identity.

“It’s a young team, so our goal is just finding our identity as a team. ‘What are we about? What did we do well? What do we struggle with?’ All of that is because today was all just generalized, as we aren’t really sure what we are. And that takes time, but if we just work to find that out and grow from the low moments, I think we would be just fine,” Waters said.

With the rest of the season ahead of them, the Trinity Tiger baseball team prepares to improve upon their performance in the first game and plans to play hard to stay on top. The Tiger’s next game will be at home against the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys at 12:00 pm on Feb. 18.