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Baseball-WCU Recap

A win in February has never tasted sweeter, even in 40 degree weather.

Kyle Wood congratulating Justin Gubser after hitting his home run
Kyle Wood congratulating Justin Gubser after hitting his home run
Brenda Kreig

Last Friday marked the beginning of the 2015 season. And for me personally I had flash backs from the 2014 season, with how bad we looked in the first two games.

The Boilermakers came out firing in all three games. They scored first in every game but seemed doom by mental and physical errors, having committed 9 errors on the weekend.

The middle infielders, Harry Shipley (a true freshman) and Michael Vilardo (transfer from Penn), had trouble working together early on in game one. The two have only had 3-4 weeks to work things out together and get the flow going, unfortunately those 3-4 weeks were not enough. The two did not play together in the middle infield after the 6th inning of the first game for the rest of the weekend. Shipley was replaced by Sophomore Hayden Grant for the remainder of game one. Vilardo played DH in the first game of the doubleheader and then left field in game 3. Cody Strong filled in for the remained of the weekend at second base.

Our starting pitchers struggled all around only going 8 and 2/3rds and giving up 14 earned runs on 18 hits. However, we saw great relief pitching from the staff. Joe Eichmann, Tim McElory, and Kyle Wood all had great outings on the mound.

In the 2nd game of the doubleheader our pitching staff racked up 15 strikeouts on Western Carolina, the most strikeouts since February of 2012. Kyle Wood had 7K's in 3 innings, Joe Eichmann had 3K's in 2 innings, and Matt Frawley had 5K's in 4 innings on the bump.

JUCO transfer Justin Gubser showed up to play for the Boilers, he smacked the first home run of 2015 campaign for the Boilermakers. He went 4 for 8 on the weekend with 8 total bases and 2 RBIs. Michael Vilardo and Kyle Johnson both went 5 for 14 and each drove in 4 RBI's. Vilardo had a triple, double and 3 singles on the weekend. Jeff "Mr. Double" Evak showed off his speed this past weekend. He went 4 for 9 at the plate with 3 doubles.

Friday:

Runs Hits Errors
Purdue 6 11 3
WCU 17 19 3

Saturday Game 1:

Runs Hits Errors
Purdue 4 9 2
WCU 15 19 0

Saturday Game 2:

Runs Hits Errors
Purdue 9 13 4
WCU 5 7 1

As you can see the line scores, there is no way we should have won the second game on Saturday, WCU fought back and tried to win it but the team held them off and was able to get their first win on the 2015 season.

Many of you may think that some of these stats do not look good, and yes I will agree with you there, but for those who have followed the program recently will realize, "we got a win in February this year." Last year the first win for the Boilers came on March 1st against Butler at Samford.

The team heads to Corpus Christi, Texas for a 4 game tournament. One game on Friday against Texas A&M Corpus Christi (3-0), a doubleheader on Saturday vs Sam Houston State (2-1) and a final game on Sunday vs Missouri (4-0). Playing baseball in warm weather is what all of our players are looking forward too, considering it was a high of 45 this past weekend at WCU. Although Corpus Christi has a high of 70 this weekend but there is chance of rain all weekend.

Look for Gavin Downs, Brett Haan, Matt Frawley, and Brian Ghiselli to be the weekend starting rotation.