Clutch plays elude RC baseball team on trip

During the first half of its annual spring break trip to Florida, the Ripon College baseball team struggled coming up with the clutch hit and the clutch pitch.

The troubles continued in the second half of its excursion.

The Red Hawks went 1-3 in their last four games to finish their trip 3-7 overall. It marks the second-straight season they left 3-7.

Ripon defeated Greenville College 11-7 and lost to St. Olaf 3-2, 3-1 and Grinnell College 8-3.

“Two-strike execution, we struggled on both sides,” Ripon head coach Eric Cruise said. “Offensively, we’re not putting the ball in play. We’re striking out. We’re not making the [opposing] defense make the plays. We really struggled to make adjustments.

“On the other side of the ball, again it was two strikes. We’re getting 0-2, 1-2 on hitters and we’re not putting them away. We’re leaving balls too close to the plate.”

The offensive struggles are evident in the number of runners that the Red Hawks left on base.

In 10 games, they stranded 84 runners (8.4 per game) — many of which came early in the game.

Ripon was especially bad in that department during its final three games — all losses — as it left 32 runners on base, including a trip-high 14 in its 8-3 loss to Grinnell.

Read the full story, which includes information on a couple strong pitching performances at the end of the trip, in the March 26, 2015 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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