The midway point of the baseball season has arrived, and the IVCC Eagles are on their way back.
After starting the year 0-9, the Eagles have crawled back to relevancy with a record of 10-16. Even with their slow start and struggle in the first half in the season, the Eagles are still keeping pace with the rest of their conference with a 5-3 record.
“After starting the way we did, we are pretty pleased with where we are at this point in the season,” said four-year head coach Jason Goode. “We are very freshman heavy and, after a slow start, it’s nice to see the bats starting to come around.”
With Coach Goode giving it his fourth go around as ringleader of the team, he comes back with experience and a strong grasp as to what they want to do this year. Health is a top priority now, as opposed to last year when regular season wins were seen as a valuable asset.
Goode said, “In my previous years as coach, we were winning 25-30 games a year, yet by the time we reached the postseason, our roster was filled with injuries.”
Pitching is an aspect of the game that can be hindered by injury, causing a catastrophic ending to a season. Sophomore Ross Weber and freshmen Brady Huebbe and Adam Sangston pitched most of the innings this season.
Weber has seen a majority of the innings thus far, and he has been absolutely thrilled with the way things have been going, aside from the record.
“I like pitching a lot of innings because it makes me feel like I contributed more to the team and did my best to get the team more wins,” said Weber. “My arm always feels great and ready to pitch when it’s my turn take the mound.”
Weber has turned around a slow start for himself as well. Since the 0-9 start, Weber is 2-0 with a 3.80 ERA and has still pitched the majority of innings.
The team needed bats to step up plain and simple. With their backs against the wall, the team has responded in a big way.
Freshman Brady Huebbe, coming off an impressive stint with the IVCC basketball team, has been valuable for the Eagles.
Batting .397 and with a team-leading 16 RBIs, Huebbe has been the catalyst for the resurgence of the team. Huebbe believes he has found his stroke this year in the box.
“I’m not trying to do too much while at the plate and swinging at pitches in my zone,” Huebbe said.
Along with Huebbe, Jared Lynn has been terrific, batting .333, and is currently leading the team with a .516 on base percentage.
AJ Gaeta has been impressive as well. Gaeta, hitting .321, has also added 13 RBIs and been consistent for the team.
Coach Goode seems to have his goals in place for the rest of the season, and he is setting them at a very attainable level. One goal for his team is to just stay healthy, as said before, and to be full strength heading into the postseason.
Record-wise, Goode is looking to finish out the season at or around the .500 mark, in hopes to set up a favorable matchup in the first round.
“If we can finish the season at .500 we are going to be in a prime position for a four or five seed. That’s a matchup we think we can thrive in and set us up for success in the postseason.”
The Eagles have several more home games the rest of the year; all games will be played at Dickinson Field in Oglesby. Their schedule can be found on IVCC’s website.
The post-season begins May 9.