Hello and welcome again to another edition of First Pitch! In this installment, we will be discussing our series loss to TCU and the home win against San Diego. This week has concerned me with the fact that San Diego came back and was in the lead at some point in a game they should have never been in. The series loss to TCU was less surprising to me, however, if this team wants to host a super regional, they need to win all of the series going forward. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
This team is still relatively young, as only five seniors will be honored Sunday on Senior Day. The team is still having road struggles, something that I did not see coming this weekend against a broken TCU team. This series loss brings the team road record to 11-10. The most concerning thing for me is that the team’s struggles are inconsistent and are often caused by different things. On Friday, this team started from behind and only got the lead back for a brief moment before TCU hit a two-run blast to take the lead back. After that, the offense was non-existent. I still think this team has the potential to make it to the College World Series, but I believe that if it can’t get its road struggles together, it could lose the Big 12 to Oklahoma State.
I’m ready to call it, Caleb Kilian is your new ace. He has been lights out this season out of the starter role. This weekend, he allowed only one hit over six innings against the Horned Frogs, striking out nine. He has become what you had hoped Gingery could have been, someone who will come and shut down the opposing team virtually guaranteeing the team a win. He has been impressive on the year, now with a 7-1 record and a 1.75 ERA. Davis Martin is still a very good pitcher, but he hasn’t gotten the run support he has needed this year. Run support is one of the things that distinguishes between an ace and a very good pitcher. Kilian makes the team more confident out there, and it shows in run support.
This team is good. This team could even be described as great. For some reason, since the beginning of Big 12 play, this team has either saved a game by winning on Sunday or have played some of their worst ball on Sunday. Once again, this team lost on Sunday, something that has now happened two weeks in a row, and has also happened three of the last four weekend series. This is something interesting for me as this team is good and has shown the ability to close out series earlier in the season against good opponents. Looking through the stats, I found something interesting. The last three Sunday losses were taken when John McMillon started. I think McMillon is a great pitcher, someone who I believe should be utilized in the back of the rotation. I believe Jose Quezada should be the Sunday starter, and let McMillon come in to finish games on Sundays. Quezada has been one of the team’s best middle relievers and always pitches well out of the pen. I think it would be better to get 4 or 5 innings out of Quezada, have a couple of guys pitch filler innings, and have McMillon pitch the final two or even three innings. Put him into a long closer role, sort of like Ryan Shetter.
That’s all I have for you today. What do you think of the team’s recent struggles? Do you think they can still win the Big 12? Let us know in the comment section below! ‘Till next week!