Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Cats win five, but still yet to peak (Baseball)

Five wins in nine days weren?t enough to convince coach PaulStevens that the Northwestern baseball team is ready for thisweek?s Big Ten opener.

?If I were to say we are prepared for the rest of the season,I?d be lying,? Stevens said. ?We need to try to recover our timing,rhythm and consistency. I don?t think we?re where we need to beyet.?

The Wildcats (9-9-1) capped off a nine-day, seven-game trip toFlorida on Saturday with an 11-6 win over Dartmouth.

?Coming off (the NU players) schedule and the amount of timethey practiced during reading week and finals week, I?m verypleased with the way they reacted to everything,? Stevens said ofhis team?s 5-2 Spring Break record.

But the head coach is concerned that a lack of practice duringreading week and finals week hurt the team?s consistency withpitching, hitting and defense.

Over the 12-day stretch, the team held only voluntary workoutsin the batting cages.

After a 4-0 start to the Florida trip, including wins over Miami(Ohio), Vermont, Wright State and Stetson, the lack of consistencyshowed when NU dropped a pair of games to Dartmouth, gettingoutscored 23-11 over two days.

?After a day off, it seemed like we weren?t really ready toplay,? senior Jason Krynski said. ?It was a lack of readiness andpreparation.

?In the second game, our pitching struggled. Dan (Konecny)wasn?t pitching as well as he usually does.

?We came back from eight down and made a run for it at the end,but we lost.?

Even if the Cats didn?t prove they were prepared for theconference slate, the trip to the Sunshine State saw leadersemerge.

Krynski batted .400 over seven games, bringing his seasonbatting average to a team-leading .373.

The senior also leads the team in home runs (3), RBIs (19), anddoubles (10).

?Judging from my role over the past three years, I wasn?t a bigpart of the team,? Krynski said. ?There were times when I wasplaying well, but I didn?t have a big role.

?This year I came into the season ready to take on the role ofan everyday starter and to be consistent.?

Sophomore pitcher Dan Brauer picked up two more wins over thebreak, taking his record to 3-1 and bringing his ERA to a team-best2.15.

Brauer already has won two Big Ten Pitcher of the Week awardsthis season. Another underclassman, freshman Caleb Fields, showedwhy he starts every game at second base. Fields batted .333 duringthe trip to Florida, giving him a .323 overall average, third onthe team.

But perhaps the most impressive spring break performance camefrom freshman pitcher George Kontos. The underclassman threw 7.1shutout innings against Stetson in his first collegiate start.

Kontos contributed to a 21-inning streak of NU not allowing anyruns. He gave up just four hits and one walk in the 3-0 win onMarch 23.

?George Kontos had as good a game as I?ve seen in a young man,?Stevens said. ?But he struggled earlier in the year. We don?t haveconsistency, and until we get it, I?m not going to be realsatisfied.?

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Cats win five, but still yet to peak (Baseball)