Thursday, October 6, 2011

CU Baseball Heads to Nebraska for a Weekend Series

MCCOOK, Neb. (10/6/11) – The University of Colorado’s club baseball team will journey to Nebraska this weekend to take on McCook Community College. The Buffs’ will play four games over the weekend, two on Saturday Oct. 8 and two on Sunday Oct. 9. The games will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.

The Buffaloes are off to a slow start thus far, losing three out of their first four games. Last week the Buffs’ took on the University of Northern Colorado and lost both games. The week before that Colorado split a two games series verses Metro State.

Tryouts went well for the team, the Buffs’ added both young and experienced talent which has given the team great depth. The talent and depth of this year’s team has led to high expectations for the Buffaloes.

This team has as much talent as any other school in the country, it's just a matter of turning the potential into results,” said team president Ben Fuchs. “We all know how good we can be, we just need to put everything together on the field when it counts.”

Other than a 22-3 win over Metro State, Colorado has struggled offensively early on. The Buffs’ hitting was expected to be the strength of the team coming into the season, but thus far the Colorado bats have been quiet. However it’s early on in the season and the team isn’t worried about the offense just yet.

“Hitting usually takes a little longer to round into shape, so I’m sure we’ll get it going,” said Fuchs.

If the Buffaloes want to come away with the series this weekend they’ll need big performances from seniors Tucker Hinchliffe, Brian Wanner and Conor Vidulich. Hinchcliffe is a third year veteran and also the team’s catcher. Last year he was one of the leading hitters on the team. This year he’s off to hot start, going 4-9 with three doubles and two RBI’s in the team’s first four games.

“In addition to being one of our leading hitters, he is also an excellent defensive catcher with a tremendous arm that really shuts down our opponents on the bases,” said Fuchs on Hinchcliffe. “He is one of the captains of the team, and his unrelenting work ethic and leadership really help to keep the team moving in the right direction.”

Wanner plays right field and is a stabilizing force in the Buffs’ lineup. Last season he led the team in doubles and runs scored and ranked in the top ten in the nation in both categories as well.

Vidulich is the ace of Colorado’s pitching staff. Last year he led the team in ERA and was second in innings pitched. Vidulich is the unquestioned leader of the pitching staff and has taken on a large role in coaching the pitchers on the team.

“He (Vidulich) is an excellent pitcher with a deceptive throwing motion and explosive stuff that really keeps hitters defensive,” said Fuchs. “He has a reputation for throwing strikes and attacking hitters, an approach that we want all of our pitchers to follow and adopt.”

If Colorado wants to have success this weekend they will need their pitchers to continue throwing strikes and their hitters to play like they did in their 22-3 victory verses Metro State.

“If we’re going to succeed, our pitchers are going to need to continue to throw strikes and keep their hitters off balance,” said Fuchs.  “We are also going to need to get our offense going and score some more runs.  We scored 22 runs in our first game this fall but we haven't done much in the three that have followed.  We need to get back to being more patient and finding pitches that we want to hit.  Last week against UNC we chased some bad pitches and were off balance all day long.   If we're going to succeed we'll need to be much more selective and disciplined in our approach at the plate.”

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