Hawks in must-win situation heading into final weekend
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 27, 2012 13:04
The Crimson Hawks’ playoff hopes hang in the balance this weekend when they play against Lock Haven in a four-game series.
The Hawks are sitting in fifth place right now, three games behind Slippery Rock. For the Crimson Hawks to get into the playoffs, they will need some help, but Head Coach Jeff Ditch is confident that his team can get it done.
“It seems we need to win all four and Slippery Rock needs to lose all four,” Ditch said. “That would give us 11 wins and Slippery Rock 10 wins. It is hard to look at things with that prospective. We just need to win game one and take care of our own business. After the weekend is over the results will speak for themselves.”
It won’t be easy for the Hawks – they’re playing against Lock Haven, who is also trying to find their way back into the playoff picture. Lock Haven sits just one game behind Slippery Rock in the battle for the last playoff spot.
“Lock Haven is having a great year,” Ditch said. “They have a good mix of pitching and hitting. Each of the top four pitchers on their staff can pitch deep into the game and give them chances to win a series.
Plus, they play well at home, as indicated by the 9-3 home record. We played them at Shepherdstown, West Virginia, earlier in the year as a non-conference matchup and tied 4-4.”
The Hawks will have their four best starters this weekend with Stephen Cooke, Matt Szukics and Craig Hibell, with the last starter yet to be determined.
Ditch has a philosophy on how he wants his team to act this weekend.
“Once the series begins, it is inning by inning to win game one,” he said. The outside distraction of playoffs will disappear and turn to the focus of competing on the field like always.”
The Hawks will close the season out with a chance to have a better overall record than they did last season.
Last year, the Hawks were 22-28. With two wins this weekend they will pass that mark.
Unlike last year when they made the playoffs, this year they might not be so lucky.