Saints need late season push

Looking for more consistency after last year’s .500 record

Photo by Andrew Sherwood

By Clayton Coffman |
Coming off of last season’s 25-25 record, J.D. Goryl has the perfect solution for the Saints baseball team.

“We need to play more consistent, at both the mound and the plate,” Goryl said.

The Saints have begun play this season and have started 3-5. They opened their schedule against West Florida and split two games against the Argos.

Next up was another two-game series, this time against Florida Southern. The Saints split those as well winning 11-4 and losing 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth.

Despite the .500 start, Coach Dave Barnett hasn’t been displeased with his team’s play.

“There’s no disappointment so far,” he said. “I told the guys yesterday that I thought we played 3 of the 4 games well.”

Both hitting and pitching have made Barnett pleased with the progress of his team against the toughest schedule they’ve ever had.

“I think early in the season we’ve made some good defensive decisions and I thought we got timely hitting,” Barnett said.

The hitting has made J.D. Goryl’s job that much easier.

With transfer first baseman Zach Bove and outfielder Sam Bridgeman pounding away, Goryl knows that he can rely on them if he allows a few runs.

“Those two guys, Zach Bove and [Sam] Bridgeman, they’ve been swinging the bat well. You have a leeway to give up a couple runs and still have a shot to win,” Goryl said.

With six games down, and 50 to go, the Saints have to play consistent ball if they want to have a chance to play in the postseason.

“We have to win somewhere around 40 games in a 56-game schedule,” Goryl said. “We just take it one day at a time and play hard every day.”

The Saints are playing teams within the Peach Belt and Sunshine State conferences. These Division II foes stand in the way of Flagler’s hopes at the postseason.

“We’re still feeling our way,” Barnett said. “This is the toughest schedule we’ve ever played.”

Having to win 80 percent of your games is hard for any team. And Goryl knows that the Saints can’t let their foot off the gas.

“We can’t take any breaks,” he said.

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