New Gorloks regime led by three-headed offensive monster

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The Webster Baseball team has had its worst start to a season in 21 years. 23 games into the campaign, the Gorloks had a 11-12 record; the first time they had a losing record at this point since 2003.

The turbulent start, however, has not all been disappointing. The Gorloks have found hard-hitting newcomers who have slid seamlessly into the top of the line up. Last offseason, the team lost Ben Swords, all-time leader in hits, runs and games played for the Gorloks and Matt Staker, who has the second most games played as a Gorlok.

With both joining the coaching staff for the 2024 season and having found effective replacements for the two, Coach Kurich will have two less things to worry about.

James Theodore at the plate against University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Contributed by Webster Athletics

Freshmen James Theodore and Parker Murrow, along with third-year transfer Karl Peters, have been the standouts for the Gorloks so far. Another freshman Andrew Fazio has also been a regular in the lineup, switching between third base and catcher.

Theodore, an outfielder from San Marcos, CA, boasts the team’s best batting average at a whopping .409. He also swiped 22 bags in 25 attempts, to go along with scoring the winning run against North Park in the bottom of the 10th earlier in the season.

Peters, meanwhile, leads the team in slugging, home runs, triples, doubles, and RBIs. He too is a wily base runner with nineteen steals in twenty attempts. Apart from his prowess at the plate, the Colorado native has made the shortstop position, left vacant by Staker, his own. Having been recruited to play outfield, the position he played at San Mateo College, Peters quickly transitioned to the infield when called upon to do so.

Finally, we have Murrow who does not top any of the categories but is just behind either Peters, Theodore or both in nearly every single one.

Staker, who joined the Gorlok coaching staff in January as a volunteer coach, says he is impressed with how these newcomers have coped so far.

“It’s tough to ask so much out of the new guys entering the program,” Staker said. “There’s a lot of plays and little things to learn fast here. I think they are doing pretty good.”

Parker Murrow takes to the field before a game. Contributed by Webster Athletics

Being a former shortstop himself, Staker works with Peters in particular and lauds the Colorado native for his athleticism and coachability.

“He’s adjusted extremely well. He’s played short in the past when he was younger, but his biggest advantage is his athleticism,” Staker said. “My favorite thing about him is that he is coachable. He’s ready to learn not only about the position but about all that Webster does as a team under Bill.”

Having played on the team as recently as last season, Staker and Swords are more relatable for the present group of players. They help relay information from the senior coaches, along with familiarizing the new faces with the ins and outs of Webster baseball.

“I’ve been able to help them a lot with the little things, understanding our plays and knowing why we run them. There’s always some mechanical things to adjust and improve,” Staker said. “Swords and I have been able to share our experiences so that they can uphold the same expectations.”

Unfortunately, those expectations have not been upheld so far this season. The team started the year as one of the top 25 DIII programs in the nation, a testament to the Gorloks’ historical success. However, the performance slowly dropped off following a disappointing spring break trip to Florida after going 2-5 in the Sunshine State. 

Evan Evola (left) and Karl Peters (right) converse before a game. Contributed by Webster Athletics

Given the conflicted nature of the season, the Gorloks have had their goals change multiple times over the course of the campaign. However, with the tail end of the season fast approaching, Peters says the eyes are firmly set on advancing beyond conference play and into the national tournament.

“We’re right in the middle of the pack for the conference, which is not usually where we’re at. Hopefully we can just pick it up going into the conference tournament and make a playoff run. That’s the goal now,” Peters said.

If the Gorloks are to make a playoff run and redeem their campaign, Theodore, Peters and Murrow will have to continue to step up.

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Sriram Chidambaram
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