Baseball stumbles towards tourney

I probably spoke too soon when I rambled on and on about the Norse’s recent turnaround here in the last two weeks.

Because all of a sudden, the Norse hit a brick wall. Bellarmine swept the Norse in a four-game series over the weekend, and they have lost five in a row and six of their past seven,

The possibility of the Norse winning the GLVC East dwindled, as did their formerly high-powered offense. Ten runs in four games is a fairly minute amount of offense compared to the double-digit outbursts they were having, albeit against lesser competition.

While the pitching has remained fairly steady, the offense, unfortunately, didn’t have the oomph it needed in Louisville. It didn’t show up for Eric Braeckel, who also saw a quality start go to waste. During the losing streak, neither the offensive firepower nor the pitching clicked.

The bright spot has been pitcher Dave Middendorf, who has been leading the charge in the pitching category. The LaSalle graduate was just about perfect last weekend in a key doubleheader. Nothing short of brilliant, the freshman southpaw gave up one hit, after the Norse had the game in hand. Middendorf allowed two runners to reach second base in a Reds’ Johnny Cueto-esque performance. The performance earned him Player of the Week honors in the GLVC. Middendorf, also, has yet to allow a home run this year.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the pitching coin, Andy Heston’s struggles have continued. Heston faced six batters against Southern Indiana and retired only one, allowing five hits and four runs while surrendering the lead.

The suddenly precipitous fall for the Norse may have stemmed from the come-from-behind win by Southern Indiana. Maybe it didn’t. Maybe the recent big offensive outbursts and big pitching performances were abberations after a dismal start to the season

But there’s still time for the Norse to turn it around, and anything can happen come tournament time. As for winning the GLVC East, well, that may have fallen by the wayside, as the Norse are currently 5