The Shocker baseball season has nearly reached its halfway point. Now that the early-season jitters and butterflies are gone, this is the time when batting averages begin to fluctuate less and players begin to feel the wear and tear of the extensive, tolling season.
So, how have the Shockers fared so far?
In 2016, the Shockers were 8-16 through 24 games. In 2017, they’re 11-13 through the same number of games.
WSU began the season on a hot streak, winning their first seven games in convincing fashion, including a 16-2 drubbing over Utah Valley State in their second game of the season.
“Last season we were very unconfident,” head coach Todd Butler said following WSU’s sweep over Utah Valley State. “We couldn’t finish games, and it was a tough season.”
Following their seven-game home stand, the Shockers hit the road for seven games, where they played Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma, and Louisiana State.
Sandwiched between sweeps to Louisiana Tech and LSU, respectively, was a notable victory over the then-No. 13 Sooners in Norman, Ok.
The Shockers returned home to Eck Stadium for a brief two-game series against Northern Colorado, where WSU took both games over the Bears to improve their overall record to 10-6.
Since their 9-6 start, WSU has dropped seven of their last eight games, including their last four contests at home.
With Missouri Valley Conference play beginning the weekend of April 7, a few more non-conference wins in the remaining games against Valparaiso and Oklahoma State would bolster the confidence of Butler’s squad.
Sophomore outfielder Greyson Jenista leads the Shockers on the offensive end with a .286 average and 16 runs batted in. Sophomore Alec Bohm is second on the team in average, hitting .258 with 10 runs batted in. Both Jenista and Bohm have appeared in all 24 games for the Shockers this season.
Sophomore Jordan Boyer leads the team in runs batted in with 18 paired with a .239 batting average.
Senior Landon Holifield has excelled in his role in the bullpen, posting a 1.59 earned run average through 11.1 innings pitched. Senior Reagan Biechler, junior Adam Keller, and sophomore Robby Evans all currently have a sub-2.00 ERA and more than 10.1 innings pitched.
Despite the sub-.500 record Butler has mentioned that his players have the required tools necessary to be a competitive team and hit their stride at the right time.
“This is the best group of hard-working players we’ve got in our program, and they’ve bought in to what we want to do,” Butler said.