After a slow start, the Albion College baseball team is swinging for a strong finish.
The Britons posted a 1-10 record in non-conference play—including a nine game losing streak to open the season. Yet, since beginning MIAA league play on March 25th, the team’s record is 5-7.
A difficult schedule and inexperience can be blamed for the Briton’s poor start. Beginning the year with a trip to Georgia, Albion faced a LarGrange College team that had already played 15 games. Compound that with a roster featuring only two seniors, and the Britons found themselves overmatched.
“We saw it as a challenge,” said outfielder Tyler Millward, Climax senior. “We knew we needed a good game to win.”
While youth and scheduling doomed the Britons early, both have played a key role in the team’s turnaround. The difficult competition provided young players with valuable experience, preparing the team for conference play.
“With a young team we went through some growing pains,” said Head Coach Scott Carden. “Now guys are getting more comfortable in their roles.”
Carden singled out Millward as a vital part of the Briton’s turnaround. Millward, whose .349 batting average and nine R.B.I.’s lead the team, has filled a leadership void for the young squad.
“Tyler Millward has been impressive all year,” Carden said. “Offensively he’s been good, and he’s embraced a leadership role.”
Moving forward, the Britons are aiming for a strong finish to the season. Carden pointed to the Briton’s defensive play as critical to continuing their success.
“We have to clean up our mistakes defensively,” Carden said. “Our defense has let us down as of late.”
The Briton’s also have a matchup with rival Adrian College circled on the calendar. Beginning April 28, Albion will play a two game series versus the two-time defending MIAA champions.
“Adrian is a great measuring stick for us,” said pitcher Mike Schypinski, Sterling Heights junior.
Beating Adrian would provide a huge boost for the team.
“One of our goals is to beat Adrian,” Millward said. “They’re the best team in the league and it’s a historic rivalry.”