Written by Andrew Pietraszewski on April 21, 2022
Image courtesy of Kodiak Creative
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.- The Illinois Wesleyan Men’s Baseball team currently sit at a 6-3 conference record in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, good for second place out of nine teams. The Titans’ success in these conference games hinge on their energy and higher intensity, which seniors Colin Greer and Jake Duffy both acknowledge.
“The intensity does go up a lot, that’s what the main part of what this season is for, that’s what you play for is the end of season conference tournament, so when we play conference games the mood in the dugout and everything goes up and everyone brings their A-game,” said Duffy.
“Conference games are like a month into the year and I think we’ve gotten a lot better over the course of the year, we’re still trying to improve everyday and I think we’re still getting better, “ said Greer.
For the Titans, there isn’t just one opponent the team is gunning for, due to last year’s disappointing results. The team simply wants to beat everyone, and do the best they can.
“Last year, I think we got beat by almost every team, so we’re just out here trying to beat every team. There’s not one team we’re going right after but we just gotta go out everyday and try to win the series, win the first game, win the doubleheaders and go on from there,” said Greer.
Greer says the other main goal while playing conference games is realizing the higher intensity is needed, but still treating and preparing for the game just like any other.
“I take every game the same, but conference games are a big deal, it’s a little more important than playing non-conference teams, but I wouldn’t say there’s a change in how we play in non-conference games and conference games,” said Greer.
“Every game you go out and try your hardest, but when you get a conference game you gotta turn it up a little more,” added Duffy.
Duffy has certainly done his share to contribute to the team’s conference success, going seven innings in each of his last two starts with 14 strikeouts over that span.
“Every time I go out on the mound, I know I can trust the defense behind me, and that’s a big thing, and just commanding my pitches [has been the key}],” said Duffy.
Greer, a former shortstop-turned-second baseman, has performed admirably as well over this span as well, with two hits in each of his last two games along with three runs batted in, as well as riding a three game hit streak as a whole.
“I don’t want to hit a pitcher’s pitch, I wanna get something I can handle, what I’m looking for, if I swing through the first pitch it’s something I’m looking for, just keeping it really simple at the plate,” said Greer.
The Titans will look to continue their solid conference play this weekend, when they face Millikin on the road in a doubleheader Saturday.