UCCS baseball, fresh off their championship victory in 2021, has encountered a rare losing record through just under 30 games played, but hopes to revitalize their season in the final stretch of the 2022 campaign.
Sitting at 10-19, the Mountain Lions have their worst winning percentage in over five seasons, but the general consensus in the clubhouse is that they are finding their groove late in the year.
“Compared to our personal expectations, I feel that we stumbled a little of the gate,” said junior outfielder Dylan Morace. “However, we are now hitting our full stride and are fully ready to compete the rest of the year.”
Morace is eighth in batting average and slugging percentage among qualified Mountain Lions and is third of all outfielders in OPS with a .966 in this stat.
“When I have been given my opportunities this year, I feel like I have capitalized to the best of my abilities. My season is off to a great start,” Morace said.
The Mountain Lions have struggled from the plate this season, being in the bottom half of the RMAC in important scoring statistics such as runs scored, RBIs and home runs.
A bright spot this year has been redshirt freshman outfielder Kit Wigington, who individually ranks fourth in the entire league in batting average with 31 hits of his 74 at-bats.
Unfortunately, standout players and senior outfielders Aaron Faragallah and Walker Rumsey haven’t had the same success with batting, ranking second and third in strikeouts in the RMAC, respectively.
“[Our expectations] were high this year, and our performance has not quite matched it, but we are beginning to feel a shift in the team. We know what we need to do and that we are very capable of it now,” said sophomore pitcher Parker Gregory.
The pitching for the Mountain Lions has been somewhat disgruntling as well, with pitchers recording a combined 9.01 ERA over the course of the season, third-worst in the league. They also hold players to a .329 batting average, second-worst in the league.
“I’ve been injured for this season, but I hope to be able to come back and make an impact on any way I can,” Gregory said.
The Mountain Lions hoped that Gregory would be able to return after not pitching a single game in 2021, but the young reliever has not been available since March 2020.
Redshirt junior pitcher Jonathan Cowles and redshirt freshman pitcher Cole Philip rank in the bottom six in ERA this season but will try to lower the number as the season progresses.
In the late game, another silver lining on the mound comes from freshman reliever Brock Weiss, who has the second-lowest ERA on the team and recorded one of only three saves from Mountain Lions pitchers.
“Our focus for the remainder of the season is to take it day by day and to control what we can control. We want to focus on winning the day,” Morace said. The Mountain Lions’ season continues with a four-game away stretch against the Regis Raiders, who UCCS has defeated in six of their last seven matchups.
“The goal we’ve set is really to build momentum and gather out focus to hold our title as conference champs,” Gregory said.
UCCS will have to turn around their losing conference record into a winning record come tournament time to qualify for the RMAC tournament by May 11. A good second half winning streak could propel them into contention.