Riley Erickson is directed by third base coach Phil Pupillo to slide toward the outfield side of third base.
Riley Erickson is directed by third base coach Phil Pupillo to slide toward the outfield side of third base.

   Entering last weekend’s four-game series against the University of Chicago, Ripon College head baseball coach Eric Cruise would have been able to stomach a split.

   But after the Red Hawks took the first two games against the preseason favorites in their division 5-2 and 3-1 last week Friday at home and played well, it became harder.

   Ripon couldn’t sustain that level of play as it dropped the final two 11-5 and 10-0 (seven innings) last week Saturday in Chicago.

   “It was disappointing because of how well we played on Friday and then how completely different and poorly we played on Saturday; that’s the most frustrating thing,” Cruise said. “If we go down there and we get beat two games, but we play well ... you get beat. It was like the Bizarro world; we were a completely opposite team.”

   One difference in the wins versus losses? Ripon’s ability to come up with a timely hit.

   They scored all five of their runs with two outs in the first game, which included two in the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie, and two of their three runs in the second game.

   The success didn’t carry over to the next day as they stranded a pair of runners in the third inning and had bases loaded in the fourth of the first game. It came as they were trying to fight back from a 5-0 hole.

Read the full story in the April 25, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.