A 5-2 record in hand, the Webster University baseball team returned to St. Louis on March, 16 from a string of spring-break games in Florida. The team ranks 6th in the nation, in the NCAA rankings.
Highlights from the trip included wins over Wartburg College (Waverly Iowa), Baldwin-Wallace (Berea Ohio), and a dramatic 5-4 win over 10th-ranked Marietta College, (Marietta Ohio).
In the Marietta game, freshman Matt Wollnik hit a game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to give Webster the win according to an article on Webster Athletics. Coach Bill Kurich put the victory in perspective.
“They (the team) believe now that they should be playing those types of games,” Kurich said. Kurich went on to say later:
“The culture is changing. Our guys believe that we’re on the same level as those teams. The excitement, while certainly there, it wasn’t like we won the World Series.”
Standouts from the trip include pitcher Dylan Dean Smith, as well as offensive standouts Ryan Hall and Joe Winckel.
Smith, a senior, has established himself as a dominant pitching force this season, Kurich said. With 14.1 innings pitched so far this season, Smith has racked up nine strikeouts and compiled a team-best 2.51 earned-run average. He picked up a win in Webster’s season opener against Aurora University (Aurora Illinois), and was in line for the win against Marietta before a three-run rally by Marietta in the 8th sent the game into extras.
Smith’s time with the Gorloks has been marked with up-and-downs. After missing the entire 2012 season with an arm injury, Smith went 4-2 last year.
Senior Ryan Hall (3rd baseman) leads the term in nearly every offensive statistic (batting .462) and Senior Joe Winckel (1st baseman) has chipped in with a .407 batting average.
“It was great to see. I think if you asked those guys, they’d say their season last year was not where they wanted it to be, so it was great to see those guys get off to a great start offensively,” Kurich said.
Webster will play its next game against Washington University (Clayton, Mo.) on March 21.