Gettysburg coach Ryan Brady talks about the importance of situational hitting. Austin Crushong and Michael Tempel provided big RBI hits in the Warriors win against Bermudian Springs. Zach Miller - GameTimePA.com
Only one aspect of starting 0-4 felt promising to Gettysburg's baseball team.
They know they can bounce back. They know it because they did it a year ago, flipping that empty start into a 9-11 season.
That optimism translated to two wins this past week, against division foes Littlestown and Bermudian Springs.
“Hopefully we’re hitting our stride now," Gettysburg coach Ryan Brady said. "Two is not enough, we need to win five or six in a row here and see where we stand.”
The Warriors suffered two losses by one-run margins, and all four losses came by four-run margins or less.
“Our first few games we weren’t ready the first inning, we just weren’t ready to play,” said Gettysburg junior Michael Tempel, who leads the team with seven hits. “We’ve also hit a lot of line drives right at people. They’ve just got to find the holes.”
A big difference this week: The Warriors led both games after the third inning. Gettysburg utilized the team's speed to play small ball and extend those leads.
“We played some good hitting teams, we just got down and never clawed back," Gettysburg senior P.J. Cosden said. "In these close games, our bats have come on and we started hitting the ball. We weren’t really hitting the ball like we can, but now we’re starting to.”
Gettysburg plays James Buchanan on Monday.
“I think that’s what got us on our winning streak last year," Brady said about playing tough competition. "We played a lot of good teams early and then we hit our stride because we’d been playing against good competition. I’m hoping that’s the same this year.”
Gettysburg will get a boost soon when Cosden returns to playing a bigger role. So far this season, Cosden, one of the team's two seniors, has been limited to DH-only duty because of an elbow injury. He started throwing this week and hopes to return to the field — where he primarily plays first base and right field — in the next week or two. He hopes to return to the mound by the end of the month.
“That’s gonna help in more ways than just pitching," Brady said of Cosden. "Having him in the field will strengthen our defense and we’ll be able to move a couple other guys to their natural spots.”
Gettysburg has a big opportunity to get back into the division and district picture with four games scheduled for next week. After the visit to James Bucanan, the Warriors play three games that will count towards the YAIAA Division III standings.