In statistics, we are taught that numbers tell a story, and those numbers tell it like it is, because numbers never lie. However, sometimes the numbers on the surface don’t tell us everything we need to know. To find out the real story behind the 2014 Cougars baseball team, the numbers on the surface won’t tell you much.
Now, no matter how you break it down, 4-8 doesn’t bring the term “title contender” to mind, but this College of the Canyons team has played arguably the toughest schedule in the Western State Conference, and has lost those games by a combined average of 3.6 points.
“I think the guys will get the sticks going.” Said sophomore pitcher Ryan Cruz. “I know we have talent offensively, and at least we know we have one phase of our game going, and thats defense. So once we start heating up, we should be OK.”
Similar to last season, COC’s tough non-conference schedule cost them a strong early start, but managed to bounce back in conference play with a 12 game winning streak. With a strong and experienced pitching staff, the team seems to be a swing of the bat away from a turn around. Literally.
Like it is said, numbers do tell a story, and the story the Cougars numbers seem to tell is that they simply don’t hit well. Similar to their average margin of defeat, in their 8 losses, the team is averaging 3.2 points per game, with a .313 on base percentage, and just a .233 batting average.
“We’re not proud of the way we’re swinging the bats, but hey, it is what is.” Said sophomore center-fielder Nick Vigo. “We can’t expect to turn things around the way we did last year if we don’t start getting some runs. Last year our problem was pitching, and that improved midway through the year, and we got hot.”
Even in the teams conference opening win against Glendale College, the Cougars managed only three runs, and if it hadn’t been for Ryan Cruz’ solid pitching, a 3-2 win probably would not have been feasible. However, it is known in baseball that hitting is a lot easier to fix than pitching, and for COC, they know there is no need to panic with their current pitching staff. Currently, signs are pointing to yet another turnaround, and so is their confidence.
As they start heading into the meat of their conference schedule, the numbers will start to tell us their real story. While they may be 4-8-1, they are in fact 2-0-1 in conference play, a WSC title is still a possible outcome. However, the poor start will affect their seeding if they are to make the playoffs.