Early Tests Await Jackets

The Yellow Jacket baseball team heads into the season facing some heavy competition. All but one of the Jackets’ non-conference opponents have reached the World Series or regional within the past six years. Head Coach Brian Harrison hopes this tough start will propel the Jackets in the right direction as the season progresses.

After dropping the first two games of the season, BW has bounced back collecting consecutive victories over La Roche (PA) and Wabash (IN).

One of the keys to early success for the Yellow Jackets will be how well the pitchers perform. The Yellow Jackets head into the season with a lot of fresh faces on the mound. Harrison is hoping these young pitchers can adjust to baseball at this level and help propel this team forward.

Harrison said, “The key is going to be how quickly they (pitchers) can adapt to the college game.”

Despite this inexperience, Senior pitcher Spencer Aukerman has stepped up big for the team early on. Aukerman has produced at a very high level; he has started two games so far for the Jackets with 12 innings pitched and hasn’t allowed a run yet this season. In addition, Aukerman has 19 strikeouts, and set a new career-high when he struck out 12 Wabash hitters in the team’s first victorty of the year. These impressive numbers earned him honors as Aukerman was named OAC pitcher of the week on March 2.

The Yellow Jackets will need more strong performances like this as they travel to Florida during spring break. They will play seven games in eight days with teams from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana, and Massachusetts.

Harrison said these early season tests will help get a better understanding of the club’s strengths and weaknesses. Harrison knows the importance of getting into a groove during the early portion of the schedule in order to find a stride when OAC match ups become important,”By playing more difficult opponents out of conference and being challenged, we hope we can play our best baseball at the end of the year,”