West Connection: Cal Baptist Making Big SplashNotebook
• Cal Baptist Making Strong First Impression
• Loyola Marymount Setting New Roles
• San Diego’s Miller Makes Statements
• K-State Ushers In New Era
• Cal Poly’s Villalobos Moves Forward
This is supposed to be hard, right?
That’s not how Cal Baptist has made it look thus far, though. The Lancers have only been an NCAA member the last five years after being in the NAIA. Their stint at the Division II level was short. They are now in their first season of the four-year transition period to enter Division I, but they don’t look like the new kids on the block. They were the first Division I team to nine wins when they beat Ohio, 8-2, on Sunday to finish off a four-game sweep. They are undefeated with sweeps of the Bobcats and Northern Illinois to go along with a midweek win over the Big 12’s Kansas State.
“We’re never looking for moral victories,” said head coach Gary Adcock, who is in his 16th year at Cal Baptist. “We’re trying to play the game to win. If we schedule it, we want to go try to win it. We’ve been fortunate early on. We’ve got a couple of clubs that probably have been in an indoor facility quite an awful lot, haven’t been outside. They’ll get better throughout the year, but you still got to win the game and you still got to make plays.”
Cal Baptist showed some fight in the 7-6 victory over the Wildcats. Twice it rallied to take the lead late. Kansas State tied the game with two runs in the fifth inning, but the Lancers got those back, retaking the lead in the seventh inning. K-State scored three runs to take a short-lived 6-5 lead in the eighth inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Cal Baptist scored the tying run on a bang-bang play at the plate and then pushed across the winning run with a groundout and a wild pitch.
“It’s a big win, but we get to think about it for a day and then we have to play again on Friday,” Adcock said after. “That’s new for us too. We never had midweeks in Division II and NAIA. It’s all weekends, so this midweek thing is new for us.”
The Lancers have entered a season full of new stuff. They are facing new opponents and new coaches in new ball parks in new cities. Adcock said it has been an overload of scouting as Cal Baptist tries to learn the skill sets of new players and different coaching styles they will face.