The MVNU baseball team (14-8) finished the two-week spring break trip to Florida with nine wins and seven losses.
The Cougars’ earned victories over Cleary University, Cornerstone University, Trinity Baptist College, Warner University, Missouri Valley College and Thomas University.
Highlights from the trip include a 4-3 win over Cleary, a shutout against Trinity Baptist College from senior pitcher Jacob Chrysler and an 11-1 victory over Missouri Valley College.
“Florida was the first time we really got to see how hard we worked in the offseason,” said Chrysler. “It was also a chance to build relationships with the guys away from the demands of school.”
“It was a great team builder,” said sophomore first baseman Yanni Patten. “We played very well as a team.”
The first week of the Florida tournament competition, MVNU edged out a 4-3 win over Cleary University. Sophomore Aaron Saal and senior Jaime Montero were credited with MVNU's two RBI.
MVNU followed a two-run first inning by surrendering three runs to Cleary in the third. During the fifth, the Cougars added two more runs to the scoreboard and kept the lead through the seventh. Freshman pitcher Payton Booth earned the win.
The following day MVNU notched a 1-0 walk-off victory over Trinity Baptist.
Chrysler pitched seven innings of shutout baseball. He gave up only three hits and struck out five batters.
“I’m proud of how we battled,” said Chrysler. “Even though we lost some games we always bounce back. If we keep getting more consistent, we will make a great run at the league titled.”
Patten batted in the Cougars' only run after Saal doubled to lead off the bottom half of the last inning. Two batters later, Patten brought Saal home with a single.
Patten said the trip was valuable in getting the spring season off to a good start.
“We are very young and progressed a lot,” Patten said.
The Cougars field 11 freshmen and 17 upperclassmen.
On Tuesday the Cougars defeated Missouri Valley College (MVC) 11-1. The Cougars put up four runs in the first inning after a three-run home run from junior Jesse Staudt. The Cougars offense brought in three more runs in both the third and sixth innings for a 10-1 lead going into the seventh.
Another run in the seventh inning gave them the 10-run lead they needed to end the game at seven innings.
MVC earned its only run in the third inning.
Head Coach Keith Veale looks to improve the team’s consistency as Crossroads League play approaches.
Veale also hopes to see the MVNU "get more quality at bats on offense. I really think that will come in the days ahead.”