CIRCLEVILLE, OH - The 2017 Season of baseball is well under way for the OCU Trailblazers, and expectations are high as they continue to grow into the NAIA. After a disappointing Fall season, the Trailblazers aimed to limit their mistakes and take advantage of opportunities. Since the beginning of 2017, the team has gone 5-7 with glimpses of success, even within the River States Conference. Highlights of the season so far have been defeating in-state rival Mount Vernon Nazarene and splitting a four game set against Asbury this past weekend.
Despite dropping the first two games to the Eagles, the Trailblazers rebounded, taking both games on Saturday to even the series at 2-2. Game One on Saturday was highlighted by the team's pitching and defense, as Logan Webb (JR/Whitehall, OH ) tossed a complete game shutout to give OCU the 1-0 win. The second game would be a higher scoring affair, as the teams were all tied up at 4-4 headed into the 7th. The Eagles then struggled to put a harness on the Trailblazers offense, as Ethan Skowronski (JR/Cincinnati, OH ) hammered a two-run shot to give the team the 6-4 victory. Logan Hill (FR/Howard, OH) would get the victory in the night cap, tossing five innings while giving up three earned runs and striking out four batters.
The Trailblazers will now look ahead to their 2017 home opener against Muskingum College on Wednesday as they look to continue to improve their 5-12 record. "It has been a pretty good three weeks for us. Starting ourselves off in a 0-5 hole in the fall, I didn't know how we would react moving forward," said Head Coach Michael Blevins. "Splitting with MVNU was a huge step for us, then we struggled at Bluefield but showed a lot of good signs at the same time. It was great seeing some guys step up, including Nolan Knox (SO/Ashville, OH) earning his first collegiate win. We opened our conference schedule at Asbury over the weekend where it started out a little rocky. We lost our starting catcher Zach Mason (JR/Columbus, OH) due to injury in game one of the series, but Junior Eric McClure (JR/Baltimore, OH) and Freshman Branden Focarett (FR/Pickerington, OH) filled in great. Even with a very good offensive performance we lost both games Thursday. On Friday, in terrible playing conditions, we were able to scrape out an RBI single from Ehtan Skowronski against Asbury's ace, while our Ace Logan Webb threw a complete game shut out to give us a huge game 3 victory. In game two we showed more heart than we have in a long time. Trailing by 2 in the 6th, Asbury tied it up. In the top of the seventh, Skowronski hit a 2 run missile over the right field fence to put us up 2, and Freshman Jordan Girdler (FR/Cincinnati, OH) held Asbury in the bottom half of the 7th to salvage a split."
For more on the Trailblazer Baseball team and the rest of OCU Athletics, follow us on Twitter (@OCUtrailblazers) and Facebook (Ohio Christian University Trailblazers)