WSU baseball team seeks consistency

Wright State baseball coach Rob Cooper is searching for consistency in his team as the season nears its midpoint.

The Raiders are 10-15 and 4-5 in the Horizon League going into a three-game series at Penn State beginning today. They started off the season 3-0, but have won two games in a row only once since.

“We’ve shown some flashes and signs of being able to be the kind of team we want to be,” Cooper said. “Right now we haven’t played consistently at all. We’re not playing at the level we expect, and when I saw we, I mean the entire program. We’ve got to keep working every day and get better.

“Obviously, the goal is to be playing your best baseball at the end of the year. Everything this team wants to do is still in front of us. We’ll keep grinding it out. Ultimately, I’m the one responsible for us not playing at the level we need to.”

The Raiders lost 6-2 to Cincinnati at Nischwitz Stadium on Tuesday, a day after routing Otterbein 17-6. Wright State is hitting .271 as a team, which ranks second in the Horizon League, but Cooper is looking for more quality at-bats from his players.

“One of the things we really keep track of is how many strikeouts, how many flyballs, how many rollover groundballs we have,” Cooper said. “With strikeouts, there’s nothing you can do on defense. A fly ball is a real easy productive out. A rollover means you didn’t hit the ball squarely. If you total those things up and you’re getting up around 19 or 20, now you’re playing with seven productive outs.”

Right fielder Mark Fowler (.355) and center fielder Kieston Greene (.338) lead the offense, while Casey Henn (3-4, 3.35 ERA) has been a workhorse on the mound.

The Raiders are playing at Penn State this weekend because this series replaced the games they would have played against Butler, which left the Horizon League last year. A series at Missouri State in May takes the spot of the other Butler series.

Men’s basketball: Coach Billy Donlon is up for two awards tonight in Atlanta at the banquet. He’s a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award, given to the top mid-major coach in the country, and also the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award, which is awarded to coaches who excel on the court but exhibit moral integrity off it.

Men’s tennis: The Raiders had their six-match winning streak snapped with a 6-1 loss to Xavier on Wednesday.

They are 12-7 overall and 3-0 in the Horizon League with victories over Illinois-Chicago, Valparaiso and Detroit. That gives them a half-game lead over Green Bay and Cleveland State (both 2-0).

Hayden Joblin (12-5) ranks second in the league in singles wins, and the doubles team of Lauri Makikalli and Michal Lyzwa has the second-most wins in the league (9-2). Makikalli is 4-0 at No. 2 singles.

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