This article contains opinion.
This weekend, IUP will take on the Clarion Golden Eagles in a four-game, two-day conference series.
The home-and-home will be a “golden” opportunity for the Crimson Hawks to improve their 9-23 overall record and 3-13 conference record, especially considering IUP holds the all-time winningest record against the Golden Eagles. IUP is 28-6 against Clarion in the teams’ histories, including victories in each of the past 12 series.
This will be the first and only time that these two squads will square off against each other this season. Their most recent meeting last April saw the Crimson Hawks winning via a walk-off home run.
Although this hasn’t been the season that they had hoped for thus far, they have some time to rekindle the flame they had at the beginning of the season.
And since their series against West Liberty scheduled for Tuesday was postponed, they have some extra time to prepare for their PSAC rival.
Players to Watch:
Chris Eisel (junior, pre-physical therapy) is riding a hot streak at the plate, as he has tallied a home run in five of his last seven games played. Along with the home runs, he has earned a .440 batting average and had a game in which he went 4-for-4 with four RBIs in the comeback win against the Gannon Golden Knights.
Ben Teplin (sophomore, business) now has a six-game hitting streak after a late-game double to center against Gannon on Monday.
This hitting streak brings Teplin to a .286 batting average on the season as well as a .337 on-base percentage. While Teplin has become a dominant force for contact hitting, he will look to improve his run production during this series as he has eight RBIs total for the season.
One final name to look out for is Nick DiAndreth (freshman, exercise science) as he now holds the title for IUP’s best hitter on the season with a .339 batting average. He is second on the team in on-base percentage (.400), second in stolen bases (four) and has the team’s best batting average against right-handed pitchers on the season (.360).
The speedy freshman has had a multi-hit appearance in two of his last three games played, and with a Clarion pitching staff allowing more than six runs per game and allowing a .288 batting average to opposing teams, it should come as no surprise if DiAndreth can keep this wave of momentum on his side.
If this trio of players, along with the rest of the Crimson Hawks’ lineup, can perform well, they’ll have a great shot at a momentum boost.