Baseball season off to a rocky start

The Wolves have officially started their 2021 season after waiting 358 days to get back on the field after the Spring 2020 season was cut short.

On Feb. 26, the Wolves took a trip to Vincennes, Indiana, to start their season with a doubleheader. The Wolves fell short in both games 13 to 9 and 9 to 8 to Vincennes University.

They continued the next day when they would once again take on Vincennes as well as the College of DuPage. Once again, the dropped both games.

Following the season opening road trip, head coach Gregory Braun spoke on the improvements the team needs to make to move forward.

“We need to get on the board early,” Braun said. “Last weekend, we were always trying to catch up, and we did so. That shows the fight in this team.”

The Wolves made their return back to Wayne L. King Field on March 6 to host a doubleheader against Sauk Valley Community College, and followed that with another doubleheader against Illinois Valley Community College on Sunday, March 7.

Improvements were made after the first weekend of games concluded, as players took what Braun said and kept fighting until the end.

The Wolves swept both weekend series, winning the first game in walk-off fashion. Freshman starting infielder Noah Mazza hit a double down the third base line to bring home the winning run, which resulted in a Wolves 6 to 5 win.

“They are a very tight knit group,” said Braun. “They enjoy being around each other on and off the field.”

The Wolves followed their back-to-back doubleheader sweeps with another home win on Tuesday against Moraine Valley Community College, 8-7.

Because the 2020 season was canceled halfway through last season, players were given a year of eligibility back. Some players who could have entered their third year decided not to take the extra year.

Although they are missing out on those few players, the Wolves have still brought back a very talented group of returning freshmen from last year to go along with the new freshmen that were recruited this past offseason.

“We have some guys who are not entering their third season here because of COVID,” Braun said. “So, while we have experience, we have a lot of new guys playing as well.”

The Wolves had a strong season going in 2020 before the season was suspended. After getting off to a rough start this season, they are back in the winning column. High expectations are on the rise for the team to make some noise in the regional tournaments.

“The sky’s the limit for this group,” said Braun. “We are really excited, and we all believe in each other. This team will go as far as they want to take themselves.”