Lions baseball wins at home, struggles on the road

Junior infielder Taylor Schwaner moved to fourth place in the program’s all-time hit list. He hit a home run in the second game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi followed by two home runs in the third game.
Nikisun Shrestha/The Lion’s Roar

The Lions baseball team continued their dominance at home against South Alabama, but found it difficult on the road against Texas A&M- Corpus Christi this past week.

On Tuesday, Apr. 4, the Lions defeated South Alabama 12-9, registering their 11th victory at home.

“It was a good win for us,” said junior catcher Daniel Wasinger. “It was a tough battle. Both offenses were going at it tonight and we just put up more runs today. It was a good win and both teams competed well.”

The Lions did have areas to improve on despite the victory. 

“I kind of have mixed emotions to be honest,” said Head Coach Matt Riser. “We had some really bad at bats. I don’t think we pitched really well. Graffeo struggled with his outing. Had some guys that were throwing their stuff, pouting, weren’t good teammates in the dugout.” 

However, Riser was pleased to see the team coming together when they needed it the most.

“I thought we did a good job in the last inning,” said Riser. “It became a one-run ball game. We came together and talked about it. It’s simple. We got a one-run lead, start acting like it. We come in here feeling sorry for yourself and being selfish and throwing your stuff, get back to being a good teammate, get the energy right in the dugout.”

The game saw Wasinger hit his first home run as a Lion. 

“It was a two-strike count,” said Wasinger. “You know, just put a good swing on it. It happened to go out. It was a good feeling.”

Riser spoke about his plans ahead of the game on the road against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

“We’re going back on the road against Corpus Christi,” said Riser. “I told those guys, ‘We got a win tonight but winning can mash some things if we don’t address it.’ We had to address those things tonight. We got to get out tomorrow. We got to have the right intent in practice. We go out with the wrong intent and wrong energy, we’ll get beaten by whoever it is. We have the right intent and the right energy, we beat McNeese, who’s undefeated in the conference and swept two from ULL, who’s top 25 in the country.”

In the games during the weekend against Corpus Christi, the Lions lost their first two games 3-2 and 5-4 before recording an 8-5 win in the final game. After the series, the Lions overall record reaches 20-12.

“I would say it was a disappointing weekend,” said Riser. “That’s a series we should have gone and taken. We haven’t lost there in that series for six years. When you play bad like that, you have to try to salvage a win. So, it could have been worse.”

Riser felt like the team needed to work on hitting more runs and needs to get the right attitude for the upcoming games.

“We need to find a way to score a lot more runs,” said Riser. “We’re averaging less than five runs a game on the weekend. We need to do a better job of scoring more runs. It goes back to our mentality. This team can be really good when they just go and put their head down and go all out. We can beat anybody in the country. When we pout and feel sorry for ourselves, it makes it tough. The good thing is that’s on us.”

The Lions will look to extend their home record this Thursday, Apr. 13 against Northwestern State. However, the team will be there without the presence of Riser in the dugout.

“The good thing is we’ve been really good at home,” said Riser. “It’s gonna be a little bit different. Against Northwestern, just have to come out with the right energy and make sure we set the tone in the first game. It’s gonna be a little different. I got suspended for three games, so I won’t be at the game this weekend. Just need to do a good job of holding themselves accountable.”