The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point baseball team finished up their regular season with a rough patch, losing five of their last seven games.
The losing started in the second game of a double header against UW-Whitewater. The Pointers would play another double header the next day against their division rivals, but lost both games.
Stevens Point then traveled home to play a pair of double headers against UW-Platteville, and lost the first two games in the series before righting the ship and winning both games in the next double header.
“We just hit a funk offensively,” said Pointer head coach Pat Bloom. “I don’t know if it was physical or mental fatigue, but we just got out of our routines and we weren’t putting together quality at-bats.”
It’s not a good time for the Pointers to be struggling, as the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference baseball tournament starts this Friday.
When asked to define the season with one word, Bloom said ‘inconsistent.’ “We’ve shown glimpses of good baseball, and other times we look very average,” Bloom said.
Although they have had their troubles, the Pointers have had some great positives come out of this season so far with individual achievements.
The Pointer pitching ace, junior Cam Seidl, has had a breakout year. In 67 1/3 innings pitched, Seidl has 46 strikeouts and an ERA of only 1.49.
“I attribute my success to the success my teammates are having,” Seidl said.
Seidl has signed a temporary contract with the Northwoods League summer ball team, The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, and will be joined by fellow teammate, junior shortstop Dan Douglas.
Offensively, junior catcher Ryan Schilter has played a big role for the Pointers. The Concordia University transfer has 35 RBIs, 21 stolen bases and a team-high .383 batting average.
Schilter will also be playing summer baseball in the Northwoods League. He will be on a temporary contract with the Green Bay Bullfrogs.
But the team knows that individual honors will not get them to where they want to be – earning a spot in the Division III World Series.
“The rankings and the predictions mean nothing this time of year. You can talk all you want about being able to do it, but ultimately you got to be tough enough to stand up and show that you can,” Bloom said.
The third seeded Pointers open the WIAC tournament at 1 p.m. on Friday in La Crosse against UW-Whitewater.
Even if Stevens Point loses on Friday, they still have a chance to win the tournament, although they would have to beat a team twice to claim the title.
“I certainly think that we have the ability to win the conference tournament,” Bloom said. “Our kids are up for the challenge.”
“I think we have a real good shot at repeating this year,” said a confident Seidl. “I definitely feel like we have the ability to compete against any competition brought our way.”