This past week, both the GU Baseball team and the March Madness Tournament have shown that regardless of record, any team can win on any given day. The Panthers took the series against the Iowa Wesleyan Tigers over the weekend, and with that, they started off conference play with a 3-1 record. The team started off the season shakily, but things seemed to finally click around the field for Greenville.
The series kicked off on Friday with a pair of nine-inning games where Greenville hosted Iowa Wesleyan at Roy E. Lee Field at SIUE. The game was played there due to conditions at Robert E. Smith Field in Greenville.
Jax Gibson started on the mound in game one for the Panthers and went six innings to pick up his first collegiate win. Although the Tigers were able to score 5 runs through those innings, the bats stayed hot the whole game with only 2 innings being scoreless for the Panthers. The hitting was highlighted by Mark Islas‘s 3-for-3 day. Hunter Cullum came in for GU to give up one unearned run to earn his first collegiate save.
Game two had a bit of a different narrative. The game started with 4 scoreless innings, but the Panthers took the lead with an error in the fifth to take the lead 1-0. Pitcher Lucas Teel continued the shutout for Iowa Wesleyan with 7 scoreless innings, which was then finished off by two scoreless innings from Chad Plath. Teel was awarded his first collegiate win, and Plath earned his first save. Hitters Landon Mokris and Dusty Sutton produced RBIs in the seventh to give GU a 3-0 win.
On Saturday, Greenville took one of two games against the Tigers. The first game was a hitting parade for GU as they were able to post runs in every inning of the seven-inning contest, including 13 in the first three. Even though everyone was hitting that game, Drew Frey and Mokris were on top of the day with 3-for-4 batting lines. Pitcher Luke Fleener picked up the win, which was the first of his collegiate career.
In the second game, the Tigers won, managing to score 8 runs in two innings to make the game 8-2. After that, the Panthers could not get closer than four runs on the day. Parker Lutz was the pitcher for game four, and the hitting was highlighted by outfielder Aaron Klar‘s 2-for-3 day and freshmen Tanner Gerdes’ 2-for-4 line. Another highlight of the game was when first baseman Logan Garrick belted a ball 2 feet away from being a home run for his first collegiate at-bat.
Sitting at 3-1 in conference play, the baseball team now has a week off from games and will look to build off where they have started in the SLIAC. Pitching coach Caleb Selk is glad the team now has some wins under their belt. With such a young roster for the Panthers this year, Selk said it was “good to see some young guys come in and contribute”. Greenville’s next series will be in Kentucky when they visit Spalding.
Media by Noah Casali.