By: Thomas Matchell
The Volunteer State men’s baseball team is in the final stretch of their season, currently sitting at (27-17) with only seven games left of the regular season.
The team has been hot since their (2-7) stretch, winning nine of their last 13 games.
“The way I kinda work through the team is we have three groupings of three conference weekends, so we had the first three weekends; we call that the first nine. We went (6-3), did pretty well and won all three series. Then we had the middle nine where we went (2-7) and lost all three of those series. Now we got the back nine…. Thats gonna carry us into the tournament. The key to the tournament is the top six teams automatically are in the double elimination,” said coach Jim McGuire.
Two of the current teams left that Vol State must play are the same two teams that won their series against them in the 2021-22 season (Motlow State Community College and Cleveland State Community College).
“We had a bad one the other day (injury to player Logan Molnar), Molnar has taken over as our starting shortstop and leadoff hitter, separated his shoulder on Tuesday. He wasn’t able to play the rest of the game (against Lake Area Academy),” said McGuire.
McGuire said he is unsure about Molnar’s injury and that it is more than likely he will not return this season.
“We will shift some guys around, so Ethan Huddleston who’s been our second baseman will move over to short, who also has not been so healthy,” said McGuire.
Players of the team believe there is room for improvement as the end of the regular season gets closer and closer.
“We haven’t had the best record here lately, (2-7) here in our last stretch, he’s told us we need to turn it around and show up to be a great team,” said relief pitcher, Chase Birdwell.
“The following three weeks we have left we look to turn it around; I think there’s always things that need to be worked on…. I think by tournament time we will be ready to go,” said another relief pitcher, Landon Tucker.
If Vol State fails to clinch a top-six spot in the tournament, they will be a part of the play-ins where every game is a single elimination, but if they are a top-six team then they will be facing double elimination.