Four weeks into the fall club baseball season, UNT is 3-4-1 and coming off a series split against Texas State. The team is off to a better start than last year and is on track to surpass 2018’s 6-16 record.
The club has seven players batting over .300 with at least 10 at-bats. This team has been productive this year on offense compared to years past, according to senior president Chris Giaccardi.
“The more we hit the more opportunities we give each other,” Giaccardi said. “No matter how well the pitching is, whether good or bad it’s going to come down to good hitting.”
As a senior, Giaccardi has been with the team for the past four years. His batting average currently sits at .118.
The team’s biggest issue last season was pitching, according to Giaccardi. The problem could be attributed to the lack of an efficient pitching rotation, with 3-4 pitchers being forced to pitch entire games. This year, however, UNT has bumped that number up to eight.
“This year, guys don’t have to push themselves, everyone is fresh,” Giaccardi said. “Everyone of these guys has stuff. We have guys with velocity, a guy with sinkerballs, a guy with curveballs and a guy who can throw sidearm.”
UNT has recorded 31 strikeouts and 33 walks through eight games. Junior pitcher Spencer Pelligrini, who had an offer to play collegiate baseball at Arlington Baptist, has nine strikeouts, 10 walks and an ERA of 6.097 so far this season. He has yet to record a win.
Newcomer Noah Trevino transferred to UNT from Galveston College after injuring his arm. The converted pitcher is batting .312 and has gained respect from some of his new teammates, including Ben Russell, former vice president and starting catcher.
“That guy is filthy,” Russell said.
Trevino has acted as a defensive bright spot for the team after transitioning to shortstop and has enjoyed his new responsibilities at this position.
“Its fun to play the field again in a different position,” Trevino said. “I’m working on it. I’m trying to get back into hitting again. Being a pitcher I didn’t get to hit for two years straight but I’m seeing the ball really good right now.”
A repeating trend for UNT has been the occurrence of one bad defensive inning, which the offense can’t recover from. Being one game under .500 isn’t putting pressure on the players, but they understand what they need to do to bump up to a winning record.
“All we have to do to stay .500 is eliminate the one bad inning we have,” Russell said. “In the games we lose, we have that one bad inning where we give up five or six runs and we can’t let that happen.”
Relying on their strengths and the basics of baseball is what Giaccardi believes will push UNT over .500.
“Really we are just trying to play the baseball we know how to play, which is scrappy,” Giaccardi said. “That’s how we can get over .500, keep hitting the ball.”
Moving forward, UNT will be playing Stephen F. Austin and Southern Methodist in series, as well as the Wood Wars Tournament at the conclusion of the fall season.
Featured Image: Noah Trevino pitches the ball during practice on Oct. 16, 2019. Image by Jacob McCready