‘Breds push for postseason berth

The Murray State ‘Breds are working toward making the six-team post season.

Head Coach Rob McDonald said he told his team he thinks they are good.

“We just have to take care of our own business, play like we are capable,” he said. “If you take it in small chunks and say; ‘Well we’ve just got to win this game’ and then look at the next one, I think it is a very manageable thing to do.”

The ‘Breds have only nine conference games left to qualify for the post season and right now the team is in seventh. McDonald said he needs everyone to be healthy and to work on consistency to get there.

“Every facet of the game we will continue to work on and I think the guys have been coming around,” he said. “Our situational hitting was outstanding last weekend. That is something we have targeted and worked hard at. The guys really saw it pay off and hopefully we will keep doing that well.”

McDonald said he does not think he is ever satisfied with consistency in baseball.

“You can always do better,” he said. “I think our team has been fairly consistent, we’ve been good defensively and, for the most part, we have been good offensively and good pitching. I would not consider us inconsistent but you are always looking to do better.”

This season the ‘Breds have recorded three winning streaks lasting at least three games and four losing streaks lasting at least three games, including a six-game drought. McDonald said when the team is in a streak they just have to keep playing and see how it turns out.

“We’ve had a couple of losing steaks and we’ve had a couple of winning streaks,” he said. “The first thing you remember, yesterday doesn’t matter whether you won or lose. So it’s very important; we talk to the guys a lot about this. They have got to come out every day with a great focus and attitude and they have to be positive. So, whether you won yesterday or lost yesterday should be irrelevant.”

In its last conference series, the team took the series 2-1 against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Brandon Elliott junior infielder from Plymouth, Ind. said he thinks the team’s chances of getting into the OVC Championships are good.

“We’ve been playing well and if you look at our past conference games, we haven’t lost any by getting really blown out of the water,” he said. “We have lost a lot of one ball games. I think we have a good chance now.”

The ‘Breds need to work on doing the small things right, Elliott said. For example, when a player is on second base, they need to hit the ball to the right side to get him over.

Elliott said consistency is basically the game of baseball.

“You are not going to be consistent day in and day out,” he said. “It’s hard to get consistency every day from both the hitters and the pitchers. But when we do get that consistency we are going to be a tough team to beat.”

Brandon Eggenschwiler, red-shirted sophomore outfielder from Lexington, Ky., said some games the team will put up 15, 16 runs and then there are some games where the guys can barely get a hit.

“Just working on consistency will play a big role for us getting into the championship,” he said.

Eggenschwiler said getting bunts down, getting runners in when the team needs to, making sure that they don’t score a lot of runs and making sure we score a lot of runs are some of the small things on which they continue to work.

“We’ve been playing hot these last few weeks and took two from SIUE,” Eggenschwiler said. “We scored a lot of runs and the pitching staff did a really good job of keeping them from scoring a lot of runs. We are getting hot at the right time.”

The ‘Breds final conference games are May 4-6 against Eastern Illinois at home, May 11-13 against Southeastern Missouri State away and May 17-19 against Eastern Kentucky at home.

“We stressed our guys that what’s most important is that we take care of ourselves and that we play how we are capable,” McDonald said. “It really doesn’t matter a whole who we are playing we just need to take care of our own business.”

The tournament will be at Pringles Park in Jacksonville, Miss.