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First Pitch: Inconsistency, right field and the pitching rotation

This week we look into the Kansas series and the loss to Dallas Baptist.

Bettmann Archive

Welcome to another edition of First Pitch! This week, we look deep into the series win against Kansas and the loss to Dallas Baptist. We went 2-2 this week, something that alarms me as this team should be a juggernaut offensively. Without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff!

Inconsistency

This team went into Kansas and had two great games. This first game, we scored 17 runs and looked dominant as the final score was 17-6. The offense was amazing as Gabe Holt led the team with 6 RBI. The next game, pitching was nearly flawless as they had a combined shutout as the final score was 10-0. This propelled the team to a series win and a 2-0 start to the series. After a nearly flawless start to the series, the team struggled in the series finale as the team lost 17-3. The main concern is that the offense is so inconsistent that the pitching staff is affected. No one on the pitching staff lasted more than 2 innings on Sunday, and yes Coach Tadlock used 6 pitchers on Sunday, tied for the season high in one game. In the loss to Dallas Baptist, the team was held to 5 runs and no runs after the fourth inning. This offense fell off the face of the earth after a five-run inning, as the team only had 2 hits in the last 4 innings. This offense has become inconsistent, something most of us didn’t see coming at the beginning of the season.

Revolving door in right

The saga that has been right field has been one of the more intriguing storylines of the season for this Red Raider team. As most of you know, Connor Beck got the first crack but his batting didn’t play up to his defensive ability. Beck’s role has been a defensive substitute since the beginning of the season. Then Kurt Wilson played in right for a few weeks, but Coach Tadlock (correctly) assessed that the team needed Wilson more on the mound than in the field, so Wilson’s role has now been moved to a one to two inning guy out of the bullpen. Cody Masters then got a shot to play in right and he may still play there some, but Brian Klein, used primarily as the backup second baseman and designated hitter until this week, when he earned three starts in four games in right field. Klein played well in this spot, getting 7 hits in three games and playing flawlessly in right field. Does this mean that Klein is the new right fielder? We can’t be even close to being sure but as of now, Klein’s the guy in right.

Starting Rotation: The Verdict

For what seems like the entire season, I have been discussing the starting rotation. After two months, I believe we finally have the four guys that will take the mound to start games each week. With the injury to Steven Gingery, this starting rotation was shaken and one opening emerged. This opening has been filled with many pitchers, as 9 pitchers have started a game for the Red Raiders this season. The three that have managed to lock down a starting spot are as follows:

Davis Martin: Martin has been the best pitcher on staff as he has been the solid Friday starter this season, going 5-2 in 8 starts this season and pitching 41 innings, the most on this team. He also a 2.63 ERA and holds his opponents to a .182 batting average.

John McMillon: We all thought McMillon was going to pitch and play right field this season and be the solid presence in right field that hasn’t been there this season. He has instead been a solid starter starting eight games, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.97 ERA in 39 innings.

Caleb Kilian: Kilian was used mainly as a relief pitcher early in the season but has started the past few weekends and has made the most of that opportunity as it seems that he has solidified his place as a starter in this rotation. He has managed a 0.89 ERA in 30 innings this season. He has made three starts and I anticipate he will start for the rest of the season.

That is all I have for you all this week. What do you think of this team’s inconsistency? Who do you think should play right field? Let us know in the comment section below!