Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Baseball strives to earn CCIW title


Last season the Vikings posted a winning record of 24-16, but struggled when it came to CCIW play. The Vikings finished only 10-11 in conference play and failed to make the conference tournament as a result.
This season tells a different story when it comes to play within the CCIW. The Vikings currently stand at 7-5 in the CCIW and have only dropped one series with a conference opponent this year. Their most impressive work came in their series win over North Central College, who are ranked 23rd in the national rankings.
The Vikings are currently one game behind Illinois Wesleyan and North Central for first place in the standings, a position which senior captain Jeff Prior is happy with.
“Our goal is to win every series, and if we do that, we win the conference,” Prior said.
Though the Vikings have been playing well, John Swiderski said there are still improvements to be made.
“I think that our team plays very well when getting the lead off hitter on base every inning,” Swiderski said. “We try to make adjustments as a team to improve that, but when guys are on base, we are very successful.
While Swiderski focused on tactics, Prior believed the key for Augustana was playing a complete game.
“Sometimes we’ll go out and put up 12 runs and the hitting is there, but we have to back it up with our defense,” Prior said. “Other games we will have great pitching performances and then we can’t score. So it’s about putting it all together and playing a team game.”
The Vikings still have yet to play their season series against CCIW opponents North Park, Illinois Wesleyan and Millikin. Swiderski said the team is focusing on the remaining schedule and achieving the team’s goal of a conference championship.
“We have to understand what we are playing for,” Swiderski said. “It’s difficult to do during the grind of the season and toward the end of classes, but we have to make sure that we focus on what we have been putting all of our work in for. As a captain, my goal is to make sure everyone is staying motivated. Individually, it doesn’t matter. I just need to make sure everyone is getting the job done.”

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Baseball strives to earn CCIW title