As Northwest baseball continues to support itself by means of the offensive power, it heads into MIAA play after its first winning weekend.
While some teams derive success from pitching and/or defense, the Bearcats grab their attention from manufacturing wins through a “small ball” technique.
The Bearcats are out of their normal non-conference festivities after they finished up last weekend at Missouri Southern.
For Northwest, the results were ideal compared to earlier season finishes, as they took two of three out of a weekend for the first time this year. This 2-1 weekend allowed the Bearcats to boost their record to 4-6 on the year.
This outing at Missouri Southern allowed for a combination of cross-conference opponents as the MIAA took on the GLVC. The Bearcats took the first two games against Missouri-St. Louis (6-2) and Rockhurst (8-2), before facing Missouri Southern in a non-conference matchup. The Lions didn’t fault as they bested Northwest 12-5, but overall the team views the weekend as a success.
“I think that, as a team, we have matched up very well to the teams we have played up to this point,” junior first basemen Connor Quick said. “We have been in every game until the end and have gotten an opportunity to win. We have also played some very good teams up to this point, and I feel we can match up to any team.”
Across the board, Northwest’s hitting statistics are becoming a well-known threat even before MIAA play commences. After only scoring three runs in the first two games on the season, the Bearcats went on a scoring streak. Over the next eight games, Northwest scored 69 runs for an average of 8.6 runs per game. As it sits, the Bearcats are third in the MIAA in total runs scored with 72.
This recent string of piling on the run support is helped largely by JUCO transfer Quick. He was not only named MIAA Hitter of the Week for his presence at the plate, but also leads the conference in hits.
“It feels good to get off to a good start this season. I'm just happy to help the team,” Quick said. “Anything that I can do to help in the team's success, I'm all for.”
Northwest tops numerous categories in the MIAA when it comes to the offensive side of the ball. The Bearcats sit third in batting average totals in the league with a team average of .305. This team has built itself around a small ball demeanor, as they boast the second lowest total in home runs with only three on the year and the most walks in the MIAA.
The cornerstone for the Bearcats has been the effect that the transfer players have had and how they have opened up play.
“I think it just goes back to having experience at those positions,” coach Darin Loe said. “The older guys that we returned are obviously playing huge parts, but then the transfer guys have filled in nicely.”
The Bearcats are hoping to continue this string of success at the plate while improving the defensive side of the ball as they head into conference play Feb. 22-24. During that first conference road trip, Northwest will head to Tahlequah, Oklahoma to face Northeastern State.
“Going down to Tahlequah this weekend to open up conference play, I think we identified some things we need to work on after our first ten games,” Loe said. “We talked about putting ourselves in a situation to be successful. We just got to focus on pitch one in game one, and once we get done with game one, we will focus our sights on game two.”