Chargers take 3 out of 4 at home

Starting Pitching, strong defense and timely hitting will be the theme of this season for the Charger Baseball team. Will they be able to get enough timely hitting to support their pitching staff? As has been the theme for the final few years under Raphael Cerrato and Jeff Hourigan the Chargers will certainly be able to pitch this season, it’s just a question as to whether there will be enough runs to support them.

Saturday’s doubleheader against St. Anselm had 2 pitching performances that every coach will take. Taylor Candage and Pat Simone combined to throw 16 of 18 innings giving up 6 hits, 1 unearned run, walking 4 and striking out 6. Peter Jay walked a bit of a tight rope in closing out game 2, but he has shown much improved velocity and consistency with his breaking pitches.

One change I’ve observed with the new coaching staff coached by Chris Celano is a significant change in the overall strikeout numbers. Celano has preached pitching to contact in the early season and it has had a few effects on the team. First, with less strikeouts pitch counts are lower and that efficiency allowed Simone, Candage, Hirsch, Melville, and Aquilino to get into the 7th inning or later. Every Charger starter has reached the 7th inning since the team returned from Florida.

Second, with more balls put in play the team has had more chances in the field and puts some stress on their defense. The Chargers can really chase the ball down in the outfield, and are solid on defense at each of their infield positions. But with more chances will inevitably bring more errors, as they did in game 1 of the doubleheader on Sunday with St. Michael’s when the Chargers had 4 errors in a 1-0 loss.

The Charger offense will be the main focus of the next few weeks in the regular season. 6 total baserunners against Austin Ziskie in game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader has to be a concern. In the regular season you hope your offense will be able to bash its way to a few wins and take some pressure off the pitching staff, then once you get into the postseason you let your pitching carry you.

The offensive star of the weekend was Andrew Johnson who hit 6-13 (.461) with 1 walk and 1 rbi mostly out of the 7 hole. If Johnson continues to swing the bat well, I expect him to move up in the order and be the left-handed hitting balance to the middle of the Charger order that David Wirkus has struggled to provide in the early season.

Brendan Buckley also had a nice weekend going 4-12 (.333) scoring 2 runs, 4 rbi and a walk. The left side of the Charger infield (Buckley and Ryan Brockett) both hit near .400 on the season and have shown some much needed extra base power.

Notes –

Jack Heary took a bunted foul ball off his eye yesterday. He posted a picture of the injury on his Facebook and it looks worse than it really is. Tough break for Jack, he’s struggled to get going early on and is still adjusting to hitting 2nd instead of 5th or 6th like he did last season.

The Chargers currently has 5 pitchers at or below an ERA of 1.00.

Only 3 Charger pitchers have an ERA above 2.00 (Hirsch, Royer and Drag).

Chargers are home for a single game on Wednesday vs. Pace University first pitch at 3:30, and will be home for 3 games with AIC this weekend. A doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12:00 and a single game Sunday at 1:00. If you can’t make it to the game, check out 88.7 WNHU or www.wnhu.net to listen live.

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