Thomas and St. Thomas squared off for the first time in over a year last weekend. The ensuing hiatus lasted just five days.
The Night Hawks and Bobcats square off on Friday in the best-of-three first round of the Sun Conference Tournament.
TU took two of three from St. Thomas in last weekend’s home series; both during the Saturday doubleheader.
The Night Hawks embodied all up-and-down entailments of their topsy-turvy season in last weekend’s series.
They lost in an ugly fashion on Friday. They played their best ball of the series on Saturday. They manifested two come-from-behind win. They had above par pitching.They scored a lot of runs through a variety of players.
And perhaps the most hackneyed – and potentially pitfalling – statistic: they mustered 11 errors.
“We’d been two weeks without playing and the defense never really came around,” TU coach Mike Lee said. “We’ve got to do better. It is a concern, but not an overriding concern. We’ve got to do our thing and not let them dictate what we do. As long as we play our game, I think we’re the better team.”
So what ultimately transitioned Thomas from subpar to dominant in the span of a day?
“Execution,” Lee said. “We talked about it after the Friday loss that we needed to figure out what we have to do to beat [St. Thomas]. We certainly knew what we can’t do – walk a lot of guys and play poor defense.”
Lee will send ace Ben Overman to the mound for Game 1 of the best-of-three series on Friday. Overman started the Friday loss, but allowed just one run on four hits.
“He’s been throwing like our top guy,” Lee said. “Any time we have him on the hill, we’re pretty confident in what we can do.”