Baseball team struggles to pull off wins

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Ashley Imhoff

Junior Tristen Clear delivers a pitch against Beaver Falls on April 6. The Bulldogs went on to win the game, 7-6.

Ashley Imhoff, Features Editor

With the temperatures rising, the sun shining and COVID-19 cases declining, it’s the perfect time to get outside and watch a good ball game. The varsity baseball team has been in the midst of their season maintaining a positive attitude and outlook, despite facing some hurdles. As of April 16, the record was 2-8. The team has had some tough competition this year, yet is still persevering and hoping for a playoff run, as they have the past two consecutive years. 

On March 29, the team took on Avonworth at home, ending with a final score of 10-0, Avonworth. The next day, they traveled away to Avonworth for a rematch, where they fell short once again with a score of 15-3. The boys were able to earn their three runs in the third inning but were not able to catch up to the Antelopes. 

The next game was scheduled for April 1 against Beaver but was canceled due to snow showers and chilly temperatures, which could be an apparent April fools joke. On April 6, the Bulldogs hosted the Beaver Falls Tigers, where Freedom won 7-6. The seven runs that lead to their victory were from senior Ethan Wolfe, junior Carter Slowinski, sophomores Luke Snavely and Jacob Milbert and freshman Logan Bickerstaff. The team competed against Beaver Falls the next day, April 7, with the Tigers winning with a close margin of 10-8. 

The boys traveled to South Side to face the Rams on April 9 and lost once again, 0-10. This was only a five-inning game, as the Rams scored the majority of their runs in the first two innings, giving the Bulldogs an unfavorable outlook for a victory. On April 13, Freedom hosted Ellwood City to challenge the Wolverines. The game closed with a score of 8-4. Freedom’s four runs were completed in the fourth inning by seniors Cole Beck, Paul Thompson, Wolfe and junior Tristen Clear. The team headed to Ellwood City for a matchup the following day, April 14, but came up short by only scoring two runs, making the final score 6-2 in Elwood’s favor. 

Despite the team’s hurdle to score runs against the competition, the player’s stats keep progressing. Pitching this year has been a strength as Milbert carries a 3.82 ERA (earned running average) and Thompson with a 4.20 ERA. Both have the power to strike out several opposing players each game. The team’s batting average has also been going strong. Senior Brett Boyd and Thompson both have the highest batting average, ranging around a .336, which is exceptional. 

“The players have to work together and combine their individual strengths with the rest of the team and reach the overall goal. I think that our team’s strength this year is character, you need good discipline, sportsmanship, and know how to work together as a unit to reach the common goal,” senior Matthew Keller said. 

While the team has faced their difficulties competition-wise, there has been nothing stopping them from cheering on their teammates with the utmost enthusiasm and excitement.

“As a team we have been staying positive, but Ethan Wolfe has been a key part in keeping our team up with that positive mindset by making sure practice is fun and always giving us a good laugh,” junior Joshua Yeck said.