Jackets hot as pitchers building on strength of last year


Jesse Kucewicz, The Exponent

Nick Smith (above), Danny Cody, and Spencer Aukerman have a paltry 1.57 ERA in 63 innings pitched.

After their most recent game, a walk-off victory against nationally ranked Adrian College (Mich.), the Baldwin Wallace University baseball team has won seven of their last eight contests to push their early season record to four games above .500 at 10-6.

Coming off a 2018 season in which the offense batted .313, the Yellow Jackets have struggled thus far at the plate, hitting only .254 as a team.

However, it hasn’t been consistent struggles as the offense is producing 7.2 runs per game in wins compared to a meager 2.3 runs per game in losses.

When talking about the early-season inconsistencies for the team at the plate, senior outfielder Reese Albright asserted that he believes the guys are focused and having good at-bats which should translate into improved results sooner rather than later. Later that day, Reese was the player responsible for driving in the game-winning run against Adrian. To further support Reese’s thoughts, over the last seven games, the offense is averaging 7.1 runs and appears to be settling into a nice groove as the calendar prepares to flip to April.

If the offense can turn their current hot stretch into a new norm going forward, BW may be a tough team to beat with the way the pitching has performed so far this season.

After posting a 3.57 earned-run-average (ERA) as a team during their 33-win 2018 campaign, the pitching staff has come out of the gate even stronger in 2019, holding a 2.79 ERA through the team’s first 16 games. Between sophomore Nick Smith, senior Danny Cody, and junior Spencer Aukerman, who are collectively responsible for twelve games started so far, the group has an astounding 1.57 ERA in 63 innings pitched.

Another important factor to the Jackets success in 2019 will be the continued development of their young talent. After bursting onto the scene as a freshman with a .331 batting average, 39 runs-batted-in (RBI), and 14 stolen bases, sophomore shortstop Alex Ludwick is a key player to watch this year, occupying the second slot in the batting order.

“There is a lot of room for growth and expansion for me to get better. I feel like it is (my) desire to get better and be willing to push myself to be successful is how I am wanting to expand my game,” said Ludwick. “I’ve gotten a lot faster this year and have been moving with purpose a lot more quickly than last year. I feel stronger and have the confidence to swing the bat whenever in the hitting count and I hope to keep on building from that.”

The next chance Baldwin Wallace students will have to catch the baseball team at home will be March 31 at noon against Wabash College (Ind.).

Beyond that, the group has a road game a short drive to Case Western Reserve University on April 3 at 3 p.m. and will return home for a doubleheader against Ohio Northern University on April 9, and another home doubleheader against Muskingum University on the April 13.