By: Roberto De la Rosa-Finch – Staff Writer
The Dayton baseball team’s slow start has been combatted with a big win. The Flyers picked up their first win this season, 5-1, on Sunday on the road against High Point in High Point, North Carolina.
High Point had not lost a home game yet this season, and had taken the first two games of the series against the Flyers on Friday and Saturday. But with the Panthers’ season-high six errors, and UD’s passion to come out of the series with the team’s first win, the team came out on top.
Friday’s game was the Flyers’ highest scoring game this season, but they still fell short. After High Point scored five runs in the third, the Flyers put together six runs in the fifth. The teams continued to exchange runs late, and were forced to go into extras.
But after a double steal and a single from the Panther’s second basemen Lee in the tenth, the Flyer’s fell short, 10-9.
The second game of the series was a hard fought pitching duel. The Flyers’ starter Zach Beaver threw a season-high seven strikeouts and only gave up one earned run. High Point’s Andre Scrubb pitched for eight innings and had eight strikeouts to match. With both teams struggling to produce runs, it took until late in the eighth for HPU left fielder Tim Mansfield to hit a go-ahead two RBI triple. High Point ended up winning, 3-0.
Dayton head coach Tony Vittorio recognized the problems his team was having through its first two games at High Point.
“(It) has to do with mainly offensive production” he told Flyer News after Saturday’s game. Overall (we’re) not having great quality at bats.”
He also alluded to his team’s pitching needed to improve.
His words lined up perfectly with the statistics of the team. Before Sunday, Dayton’s pitching had thirty fewer strikeouts than their batting has given up. That is not something any head coach would like to deal with.
“The bottom line is guys have to get their job(s) done,” Vittorio said.
Point blank and to the point. Dayton does lead the A-10 in fielding. But the Flyers haven’t been able to create any runs this season, producing only 24 RBIs and a conference-low five stolen bases.
Dayton right fielder Robbie Doring stayed positive on the heels of the team’s eighth straight loss to start the year.
“Baseball is full of ups and downs,” Doring said. “All it takes is a few games and we’re right back in it. We’re hungry. We’re hungry for that win.”
The whole team shared Doring’s determination during Sunday’s 5-1 win.
The Flyers came out strong and scored early, amassing a 3-run lead by the fifth inning on RBI singles from freshman third baseman Meehan, junior first baseman Nick Gobert and senior designated hitter Huesman. In the sixth, Doring lived up to his statement and hit a 2-run home run to seal the victory.
Along with the stellar pitching of Sam Brunner, who only allowed three hits on the day in seven innings of shutout ball, the Flyers achieved their first win of the season.