Herd baseball prepares for weekend set with Elon

Marshall University baseball continues its 11-game road trip to open the 2018 season, as it travels to Elon, North Carolina Friday for a three-game, weekend set with the
Elon Phoenix.

In its opening series against the Florida A&M University Rattlers this past weekend, the Herd put on an clinic at the plate and a gem on the rubber; taking two out of three games in the series. Head coach Jeff Waggoner said one series doesn’t define a season, and there is still plenty to
improve on.

“Obviously, a shutout and a win to get the series is huge, but we have to stay humble,” Waggoner said. “We’ve got a lot of things to clean up, too. Even though we won some games, we’ve got to look at the overall picture and focus on getting better each week.”

Waggoner said the Herd dedicated practice throughout the week to eliminating the “little” things ahead of the weekend set with Elon.

“Our approach at the plate wasn’t where it needed to be,” Waggoner said about the loss to the Rattlers in game two of the series. “Even though we put up a lot of runs over the weekend, we left 10 guys on base on Saturday, and we got out of our approach.”

Junior catcher Reynaldo Pastrana said he and the team need to focus on the task at hand and continue to work.

“We can’t ever take anything for granted,” Pastrana said. “We always have to play our game and do the little things right, run the bases right, move runners over, those kinds
of things.”

The Elon Phoenix started the year 0-3 after being swept by Penn State, but followed the sweep with its first win of 2018 against Radford; then another loss to Kansas State at home. Heading into the weekend, the Phoenix are 1-4 overall. Elon’s first five games have been decided by a combined six runs, the lowest combined margin of victory or defeat for the Phoenix in over a century.

Waggoner said pitching is a major strength for Elon.

“Their pitching numbers are really good right now,” Waggoner said. “We’re going to have to outplay them defensively and on the mound.”

Pastrana said he’s not discrediting the Phoenix despite having a single win in
five games.

“Any team can get hot at any time,” Pastrana said. “We’ve got to take it one game at a time. Don’t get too up, don’t get too down and just keep
it going.”

The series begins Friday and concludes Sunday.

Luke Creasy can be contacted at [email protected].