Areas of improvement for UVU baseball in 2016

Gabi Campbell, Photo Editor, @gabicampbellphotos

Offense an area of emphasis for the Wolverines

The 2015 UVU baseball team finished the season 19-35, so head coach Eric Madsen is aware of where the team can improve this year. The telling statistic for the Wolverines last season is the average of five runs scored per game, compared to giving up 7.2 runs per game to their opponents. UVU needs to cut down on strikeouts and improve their defense to close in on a positive run differential.

“We didn’t swing the bat very well last year,” Madsen said. “I mean, we struck out way too much. Our team average wasn’t like we’re accustomed to. I think that’s one thing.”

Madsen later said he felt too many players tried to do more than they were capable of at the plate, swinging for the fences, and chasing bad pitches.

Strikeouts are Madsen’s major area of concentration for the Wolverines after striking out 432 times as a team last season. UVU only produced 43 productive outs between 23 sacrifice hits and 20 sacrifice flies all season. By merely putting the bat on the ball, the Wolverines can create more offense even if it still leads to an out.

Gabi Campbell, @gabicampbellphotos

On the defensive side of things, UVU was much better, but could still improve after allowing 387 runs, 320 earned, last season.

“A lot of the runs they were giving up…it was more fielding and stuff like that,” said Madsen. “That’s the thing, I think our pitching has done well, I think we’re going to rely on it a lot.”

The UVU pitching staff finished the season with a 6.21 ERA, but Madsen isn’t concerned with that number with the Wolverines playing at Brent Brown Ballpark.

“Anytime you can hold guys under five here, you’ve done a great job pitching just because of the way the park plays,” Madsen said. “It’s big in the alleys, it’s short on the lines, and the infield’s fast. I mean, it’s really an offensive park.”

The biggest improvement UVU needs to make on the 2015 season is offensive output. The Wolverines lost 13 games by 3 runs or less last season. Better discipline at the plate will help the Wolverines swing the outcome of close games and help them in their pursuit of a WAC Championship.

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