The Madison College baseball team returned from its spring break trip to Arizona with just three wins in 10 games, but their performance was much more encouraging than the record may seem to indicate.
Six of those seven losses were by one run, meaning a run here or there and the team could have returned with a winning record heading into the start of their regular season.
Still, the Arizona trip has always been more about getting players experience than win and losses. To that end, Coach Mike Davenport accomplished his primary goal.
Five different pitchers got into the starting rotation on the trip and multiple other players got experience on the mound. A total of 17 position players got to start three or more games on the trip.
For a team that’s only been able to practice inside this spring, having the opportunity to spend week on an outdoor diamond can only help prepare them for the season.
Madison College will open its season with three straight road trips, beginning with a doubleheader at Kishwaukee College on March 22. The WolfPack aren’t scheduled to play at home until an April 3 doubleheader with Elgin Community College.
There were some strong hitting performances on the trip, led by freshman Cam Cratic. The Madison East grad hit .406 on the trip, getting 13 hits including three doubles and a triple in 32 trips to the plate.
Jenkins Walker, a freshman from Sun Prairie, hit .381 with 8 hits in 21 at-bats. Nathan Aide, a freshman from Franklin, hit .370, getting 10 hits in 27 trips to the plate. He also had three doubles and a triple.
The only home run for the WolfPack on the trip was hit by another freshman, infielder Nick Gile from Menomonie Falls.
The top pitching performances on the trip came from a sophomore and a freshman. Sophomore Jack Eagan of Wautoma led the way with a 0.82 earned run average in 11 innings pitched, allowing just one earned run on five hits.
Freshman Matt Hamilton from Oak Creek pitched 11-1/3 innings on the trip and earned a win. He gave up four earned runs on seven hits for a 3.18 ERA.
One thing that jumps out from team statistics for the trip is the number of errors Madison College committed. In 10 games, the team committed 20 errors. Those errors led to 21 unearned runs over the course of the trip.