Syracuse splits doubleheader with Army

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (16-12, 4-5 Atlantic Coast) split its doubleheader with Army (11-17, 2-1 Patriot) on Wednesday afternoon in West Point, New York. The Orange won the first game, 4-1, with Alexa Romero throwing a career-best 14 strikeouts in a complete game effort. Army got its revenge in the rematch and downed SU, 5-1.In the first game, Syracuse scored all four of its runs in the second inning. After a Toni Martin bunt advanced Gabby Teran to third base, Lailoni Mayfield singled to give SU its first run of the game. A batter later, Michala Maciolek extended the lead to three with a two-RBI single to left center.Alexa Romero started in the circle, three days after allowing five runs in four innings against Florida State. The sophomore returned to the top of her game, pitching a complete game and striking out a career-high 14 hitters. Romero registered her record-breaking 14th strikeout on the last batter of the game. It was the second time she achieved her record on the last batter this season, with the first time coming on March 13 against Elon.Although Syracuse’s bats went quiet after the second inning, mustering just three hits, Romero’s brilliance preserved the lead. Army finally got on the board in the sixth inning when Amelia Trotter hit a solo shot to center field, but it did not spark a comeback.Martin got things started again in the second game with an RBI single in the first inning with two outs. Army then evened the score in the second inning when Kristen McPeek smacked an RBI double to left center.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnnaMarie Gatti started in the circle for SU. She allowed one run in the first two innings before two throwing errors — one apiece from Gatti and Sammy Fernandez — handed Army four unearned runs in the third. After the third, neither team scored a run for the rest of the game. The Orange tallied just one hit after the second inning.Syracuse resumes play on Saturday with its home opener, a doubleheader against Boston College set to start at 1 p.m. Comments Published on March 28, 2018 at 7:03 pm Contact David: ddschnei@syr.edulast_img read more

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Angels’ Kole Calhoun still improving one year into his new batting stance

first_imgST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Kole Calhoun is about to celebrate a birthday, of sorts.More accurately, a re-birthday.On June 18, 2018, Calhoun strode to the plate at Angel Stadium while the scoreboard showed his average at .145. He stepped into the box, and bent at the waist in a way Angels fans had never seen.With this totally rebuilt stance, Calhoun proceeded to whack the first pitch he saw into right field for a single. He added another hit later in the game. Calhoun has been a different player ever since. Although he had a rough stretch in September, and for a couple of weeks in April, Calhoun has mostly been a consistent, productive, big league hitter ever since Calhoun 2.0 debuted nearly one year ago.Over 150 games and 631 plate appearances since he came back 12 months ago, Calhoun has hit 32 homers with an .813 OPS.In the first two and a half months of this season, he has 14 homers with an .832 OPS. The major league average out of right field is a .785 OPS.“I feel great,” Calhoun said this week. “There have been some things that have changed along the way, but the principles of my swing have remained the same. It’s been a lot more consistent than what it was in years past. I am definitely happy with where it’s at and how it’s played out this year.”Calhoun discovered this new swing with the help of hitting coaches Jeremy Reed and Shawn Wooten, who were minor league instructors last June when Calhoun worked with them while on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Prior to that two weeks he spent rebuilding his swing with Reed and Wooten, Calhoun had a career .731 OPS, but it was a bumpy ride. He’d have great months and awful months.The swing changes he made prior to the 2018 season were intended to help him smooth out the bumps. They had the opposite effect.In a failed attempt to hit more balls in the air, Calhoun actually hit more balls on the ground. As a dead pull hitter, who often sees three infielders on the right side of second base, that is a recipe for failure.“I know a ground ball to second right now is not good,” Calhoun said. ”I’m trying not to do that.”The resurgence last year was sparked mostly by a new stance that freed up his swing to get more balls in the air. It worked magnificently for a couple of months, before he hit a snag in September.After a winter of continued work with Reed and Wooten, Calhoun has taken his improvement to a new level this season. He’s not only getting the ball in the air regularly, but he’s actually managing not to pull it so much.Calhoun said he discovered a new key to his swing in late April, and since early May the results have been dramatic.Calhoun has pulled the ball only 33.7 percent of the time since May 7, a span in which he’s hit .274 with an .897 OPS over 127 plate appearances. Prior to that, he’d had only one calendar month in his career in which he pulled the ball less than 36 percent of the time. For his career, he pulled it 42.8 percent of the time prior to May 7.The result is that the shifts against him have changed slightly. While the second baseman is still usually in shallow right field, the shortstop is now closer to second base or even up the middle, which leaves a bigger hole when he does pull the ball.“I am trying to get myself in a good position over the last month, and I think I’ve done so,” Calhoun said. “Obviously, it’s something that’s shown up. … The routine I started (in late April) is something I’ve continued to do every day and keep perfecting. Feelings come and go. It’s about trying to do that same thing every day.”Having a swing that focuses on going up the middle has also helped significantly against lefties. Calhoun has hit .282 with a 1.044 OPS against lefties since May 7. He has hit six of his seven homers against lefties in that time. Calhoun is tied with Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich for the most homers by left-handed hitters against left-handed pitchers this season.Wooten, who is now on the major league staff as an assistant hitting coach, said he can see a difference not only in Calhoun’s mechanics at the plate but in the way he works to maintain those mechanics.“If you go back through his career, he’s had a lot of different setups and changes to his swing,” Wooten said. “I think at times it becomes whatever the flavor of the week is. … It’s been like night and day. We keep educating him as to what will work. …“I think he has a better feel, better than at any point since I’ve seen him last year and this year.”Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img Calhoun has maintained the same stance that debuted nearly 12 months ago. As a result, he’s not only been effective, but he’s been much more consistent. Even when he started this season slowly, it was more a matter of line drives finding gloves than poor hitting.Now, and especially over the past five weeks, Calhoun has been at his best.Manager Brad Ausmus thinks enough of Calhoun’s new approach that he’s moved him to the middle of the order instead of the leadoff spot. Calhoun was likely miscast as a leadoff hitter, but he got the job by default.“He’s been outstanding offensively really since he came off the DL last year, minus maybe September when he maybe struggled a little,” Ausmus said. “He’s back to being that left-handed power threat that’s capable of hitting in the middle of the lineup.”UP NEXTAngels (LHP Tyler Skaggs, 4-6, 4.97) at Rays (TBA), Thursday, 4 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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