By Mikai Bruce
The Cardinals faced off in three games against SUNY Oneonta March 26 and March 27 and lost all three. It played a single game on Sunday, losing 2-3, and then played a doubleheader on Monday, losing the first game 2-3 and the second game 1-5. It was not an ideal road trip for the Cardinals, who are on a 4-10 slump to start the season.
The margin of victory in two out of three of these games was a single run, due in large part to the pitching staff. Game one was a case of the Cardinals getting behind early and not doing enough to get back into the game.
Oneonta scored three runs in the second inning, the only inning that it scored in, thanks to a good pitching performance from Sean Malamud, but the Cardinals batters could not capitalize on this opportunity. In eight innings pitched, Malamud allowed seven hits and three runs and struck out two Red Dragon batters.
“After this series we can see that we need to get our bats going. As a pitching staff we’re killing it and keeping ourselves in the game at all times. I know our bats have talent and will wake up soon and hopefully we can have some luck on our side when we do barrel up the ball,” pitcher Sean Malamud wrote in a text. “We’ll have to dig ourselves out of this slump and get it going for the rest of the season.”
The team is aware of the talent it has, but it can’t piece together important wins until the batters get out of its funk.
The second game was a bit more heartbreaking. Tied after six innings and in position to win, the Cardinals gave up a single run in the seventh inning, which gave Oneonta the lead. The Cardinals were never able to regain it.
“We didn’t capitalize during the series when we had the opportunity. They made the big plays and we couldn’t quite do the same,” pitcher Tyler Kohn wrote in a text.
Simply put, the Cardinals have to take advantage of the position the pitching staff is putting them in game after game.
The third and final game was the worst loss of the three. After Oneonta scored four runs in the first two innings to the Cardinals zero, pitcher Andrew Veit held Oneonta runless until the eighth inning. The Cardinals scored its first and only run in the sixth inning and couldn’t get in a rhythm in order to close the distance on the Red Dragons’ lead.
“Two strike approach has to be better moving forward as well as hitting with runners in scoring position,” Head Coach Sam Quinn-Loeb said.
The overarching theme of the series against Oneonta was that the batters have to be better. The pitching staff is putting them in position to take over these games and it just has not happened. They have the talent to do so, but it’s all about executing and securing wins.