Baseball improves offensively approaching midpoint of season


Photo by: Jeffery Miller

Justin Sinibaldi, #39, a junior from Kenner, Louisiana, pitches at his game against Incarnate Word on April 2nd.

Approaching the midpoint of the season, the Nicholls State University Colonels won two conference series in a row and are improving offensively.

The Colonels swept the University of the Incarnate Word and won two out of three games versus the University of Central Arkansas. The Colonels also earned a 3-2 win over the University of Louisiana at Monroe over spring break. Head Coach Seth Thibodeaux thinks the key to the Colonels success came from the upperclassmen stepping up.

“It was good to see some upperclassmen step up on Saturday. It carried over into Sunday, and it is a really tough place to play and win. Our senior class stepped up well, and I have been waiting for that all year,” Thibodeaux said. “I knew they could, but for whatever reason it must have taken a while to sink in. We were relying on the guys that have never been in a battle before, and we still have a long way to go.”

Offensively, the Colonels had a combined 34 hits in the series, and sophomore catcher Alex Tucker believes the team is improving offensively. However, he thinks the team needs to improve their mindset for the rest of the season.

“I think we are starting to hit our stride, especially offensively. We had a combined 30 hits on Saturday and Sunday, which we haven’t done in the past, but we have had glimpses of it. I think our offense is starting to come around, and our pitching has always been there. That is the main key of how our offense has turned it around,” Tucker said. “I think we need to improve our mindset. It is the middle to last part of the season. We are starting to have a sense of urgency. We need to start doing what we can to secure our spot in conference and move on from there.”

The Colonels are ranked number one in the conference in pitching and have an earned run average of 2.25. Despite that ranking, Thibodeaux believes the bullpen is nowhere near what they are capable of.

“I think our pitching staff has been lights out all year, and I think it was expected. I think all of our guys are going to get better. The best has yet to come. Our relief pitchers are critical for us, and we need those guys to continue to step up,” Thibodeaux said. “We beat Central Arkansas because we had a better bullpen than they did. I want us to have the best bullpen as possible because that is going to be the difference in winning a championship or not.”

Thibodeaux thinks the team has yet to hit a hot streak in order to mark their spots in the league.
“We are in that moment of the season where we are in the final spread, and this is when you are supposed to be hot. We’ve not been hot yet this season. It may look like we are on fire because we won 8 of 10 and we expected that,” Thibodeaux said. “If we are on fire, then you will see it on the road at McNeese and a few other games we have coming up next. Then we will see if we are on fire, but I know we are very capable of getting hot.”

The Colonels will not play again until Apr. 24 against Southland Conference foe McNeese State University. Senior outfielder Justin Smith does not like breaks because it prevents the team from being warmed up.

“We will just have to work extra hard since we won’t have a game before next weekend,” Smith said. “This way there will be no doubt that we will come back ready to roll and play McNeese.”