Coach Torgalski challenges baseball team after going 1-2 against Ohio

By ANDY KONIUCH
On May 4, 2014

After losing 14-8 Sunday afternoon against Ohio - the last-place team in the Mid-American Conference East - head baseball coach Ron Torgalski is prepared to make changes to the lineup when his team plays Miami Ohio (22-25, 12-9 MAC) next weekend.

Friday, the Bulls (21-18, 12-8 MAC) began its last road trip of the season against the Bobcats (10-33, 6-15 MAC) with a 4-3 loss, earning just six hits for the evening. The team responded with 14 hits Saturday and a 10-7 victory. But Sunday, the inconsistency that has plagued the Bulls this season struck again as the team fell 14-8, resulting in a 1-2 weekend record.

Torgalski's message is clear: If the team doesn't perform to the level it is capable of this week against Niagara (15-25, 8-11 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference), changes will occur before next weekend's conference series.

"I told [the team] after the game, if I don't see intensity [against Niagara] then I'm going to take guys out," Torgalski said. "I don't care who it is. We build our team on reputation. If these guys can't play hard for nine innings, then they won't play on the weekend."

After Friday's offensive debacle, the Bulls began Saturday trailing 3-0 after the first. Freshman outfielder Vinny Mallaro responded with a single in second inning, scoring sophomore infielder Tyler Mautner.

Buffalo scored two runs in both the seventh and eighth to turn a 7-6 deficit into a 10-7 victory.

The Bobcats again built an early lead Sunday - leading 7-0 after three innings. Buffalo rallied back with a home run by freshman infielder Chris Kwitzer in the fourth and scored five runs in the fifth.

Sophomore outfielder Nick Sinay started Buffalo's five-run inning with a three RBI double to left center, allowing freshman infielder Brian Dudek, sophomore catcher Kyle Brennan and senior outfielder Thomas Richards to score. Despite the rally, the Bobcats scored seven runs in the final five innings to earn a 14-8 victory.

The loss was due to a lack of focus, according to Torgalski.

"As a coach, you'd like to think your guys are ready and able to play," Torgalski said. "We went out and had some guys show no interest in being there. I could tell right away by our body language. We didn't make plays. We dropped balls all day. To a point it was embarrassing at times. We didn't play up to our capability."

If Torgalski's current lineup wishes to keep its starting positions this weekend, the team needs to show Torgalski a better effort during the week against Niagara.

"They've been told they have the opportunity these next three games to keep their positions," Torgalski said. "Come ready to play. Because if we come out and don't have focus, I'm going to make changes real quick."

The Bulls play Niagara Tuesday at 6 p.m. and begin their doubleheader Wednesday at 2 p.m. They return to MAC competition against Miami Ohio (22-25, 12-9 MAC) for a three-game series this weekend. Friday's first pitch is set for 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday's is set for 1 p.m.

 

email: sports@ubspectrum.com


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