Nobody filled the role of a young player stepping up in a big moment this weekend more than Jerrick Suiter. The 6'4" 235lb true freshman from Indiana, made his debut at the plate on Friday (although he did pitch 2/3rds of an inning last week against Baylor) with two outs in the top of the 8th, two runners on and the Frogs trailing 1-0. The first pitch he saw turned into a triple, and he later scored himself to provide the difference in the 3-2 win.
But Suiter wasn't alone in illustrating the good things that are still to come for this green squad. Freshman shortstop Derek O'Dell had a hit in all three games, including his first career home run on Saturday. Braden Mattson had two timely hits and drew two walks on the weekend, while showing that he can catch as well as play first if needed. Reliever Preston Morrison had another great outing, working a very efficient three scoreless innings to help preserve Friday's victory.
Of the veterans on the squad, it was good to see the bats of outfielders Jason Coats and Kyle Von Tungeln come alive this weekend. Coats spread seven hits over the weekend, including a 4-5 performance on Sunday that fueled the near-comeback. Von Tungeln had five hits in the series, including his first career home run. On the mound, Andrew Mitchell played the role of staff ace well on Friday when he struck out 12 batters in his five innings of work. Closer Kaleb Merck struck out four in his three scoreless innings of work, and sophomore righty Nick Frey worked three gutsy innings of relief on Sunday- keeping the Titans at bay while the Frogs nearly rallied to win the game.
The next eight games are at home, and all against teams that the younger players on the roster will see a lot of over the next few years (Texas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Tech). Hopefully a few more of the vets can get back to normal (or in a lot of cases, healthy) and a few more of the new guys can start to make their own contributions as this team begins to erase the memory of this sub-.500 first part of the season.