Baseball is a game of numbers – America’s pastime is saturated in statistics and patterns of play that are easy to identify within the games. Here at USF, it seems that the Diamond Dons have established a pattern of witnessing a sweep in nearly every series they play – for better or for worse.
The pattern of series sweeps has served the Dons well at home. Over the past three weeks, the team has held down the fort at Benedetti Diamond with admirable consistency and strong play.
On the weekend of March 9, the Dons took on Xavier University in a three-game sweep, which included back-to-back wins during a doubleheader. Soon thereafter, after suffering a single loss in a one-off game against the University of California, Berkeley, the Dons were back at their series routine, sweeping the University of the Pacific over three days, including a 9-1 win. During their home stand, the Dons suffered two losses – both of which happened to occur during one-off games, furthering the notion that the Dons may be at their best when playing at home.
With a win against the University of Portland under their belt to start their weekend in Oregon, it looks as though the Dons may have packed their good fortune along with their away uniforms. However, looking ahead, the Dons have a formidable opponent lined up on the horizon, and their habit of winning series in their entirety may see itself turned on its head.
The Dons’ next opponent is the University of San Diego and, if history is anything to go by, it seems that the Dons have two options: sweep, or be swept.
In April 2016 when the university hosted San Diego, the Dons found themselves winning all three games of their series, starting strong with a 13-3 win and carrying the momentum through the weekend. The knowledge that the Dons are capable of this type of domination on the diamond against San Diego would be reassuring for their upcoming match… if it didn’t seem as though the Dons’ luck against San Diego is only extant on San Francisco soil.
Last spring – the last time the Dons travelled down the coast – San Diego played host to the Dons and effectively cleaned up the entire series, sending the Dons home with a 0-3 loss hanging over their heads.
With the Dons’ recorded away-game disadvantage, combined with their tendency to go all-or-nothing when they play a series, this upcoming matchup against San Diego could go either way. However, it’s important to note that, while the game they’re playing is one of strategy and statistics, the team is made up of individual athletes. The Dons could see the tables turn in their favor, should they keep their home soil velocity going while on the road.
Featured Photo: The Dons have held their ground at home through series sweeps. CHRIS M. LEUNG PHOTOGRAPHY