UWEC baseball falls in doubleheaders but set to continue to grow

Coaches and players talk about weekend series against UW-Oshkosh and the program moving forward
Jacob Lacy hustles to make it to third base safely.
Photo by Spencer Flaten from UWEC Sports Information used with permission.
Jacob Lacy hustles to make it to third base safely. Photo by Spencer Flaten from UWEC Sports Information used with permission.

Blugolds baseball looks different this year as they have an all-new coaching staff led by head coach Patrick Reilly. Taking over the program, Reilly wants to make sure he’s putting his team in the best position to succeed in the future rather than right away.

“The last thing we need to worry about right now is ‘did we win or lose?’ It’s got to be, ‘did we get better?’ Are we developing our guys, giving them a good experience?” Reilly said.

Fourth-year infielder Jacob Lacy, who has played 88 career games for Blugolds baseball, talked about the youth in the program and what comes with that.

“We’re so young that it’s a skill to learn how to win and that comes with experience. To know how to win is its own thing,” Lacy said. 

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While the Blugolds fell in both doubleheaders on the road against UW-Oshkosh on March 29-30, the team got the opportunity to compete against conference play and the chance to learn from it.

“The guys got a good hard look of what the conference competition is like. They saw how the other team can kind of pull forward when needed to and what it’s like to lose. Nothing really comes easy in this game,” Lacy said.

Reilly was excited about the opportunity to travel with the team for his first WIAC matchup of his coaching career and to be there with his team.

“I feel really comfortable with the logistics of traveling with the team and going on the road,” Reilly said.

Being his first game against WIAC competition, Reilly saw some things that caught his attention and ways to improve in the future.

“Interested to see how they were top to bottom positionally, athletically. Got a lot of work to do from an overall physicality and athletic standpoint,” Reilly said.

Having the opportunity to see the WIAC competition and the toughness of the conference over the weekend, the Blugolds left with the idea of what it takes to succeed and what will need to happen to win moving forward.

Lacy, who hit for a .500 batting average over 14 at-bats during the series, was a bright spot for the Blugolds and talked about his approach.

“My approach was to keep things as simple as possible and think line-drive and not overcomplicate things. When you know you’ve done everything you can to prepare you kind of just have to turn off your brain and let your athleticism and training do its own work,” Lacy said.

Lacy’s talk of athleticism is exactly something Reilly talked about in hopes of building on their athleticism to better strengthen the team. Reilly also expanded on the impact Lacy has had on the team.

“Could tell his leadership skills were there. He’s been great for our team from an overall maturity standpoint. Really cool to see him have success in the conference,” Reilly said.

Along with the positives, there were some negatives from the week that the Blugolds will try to work on moving forward.

“We got to get our guys to figure out every single play in the game could determine if the game is won or lost. It could be in the first inning or the ninth inning,” Reilly said.

A big factor in the Blugold’s defeat was their seven errors in four games. 

With the challenges of being an inexperienced team and learning, Reilly has been fortunate for the opportunity to grow with the team and to build a winning program. 

“The guys show up to work every day with a great attitude and want to have success. I thoroughly enjoy being with them every day at practice and games regardless of outcome,” Reilly said.

The Blugolds will continue conference play on the road against UW-Stevens Point on April 6-7.

Benes can be reached at [email protected]

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