Oklahoma Christian University baseball’s fall season began Monday, Sept. 20 with a scrimmage against Connors State College.
The Eagles beat Connors State in a 20-inning scrimmage to kick off their 2021 fall campaign.
Senior outfielder Blake Empkey, who hit two home runs, said he has high hopes for this year’s team.
“This team has every opportunity to be really good this year,” Empkey said. “We got a lot of guys back that produced for us last year and added a few that can really help us this season.”
The 20-inning scrimmage caused a marathon day for players. Playing 20 innings in fall scrimmages is necessary to get pitchers experience as the team is only allowed four scrimmages via the NCAA over the course of their fall season.
“It is most definitely a long day for us; it can be difficult to maintain the energy and focus we need to play our best,” Empkey said. “But we were able to do that and dominated from the first pitch.”
The Eagles offense scored 36 runs in 20 innings with six home runs, building off of last season when they led the Lone Star Conference in home runs with 60. The pitching impressed, giving up just 10.
Senior infielder Grant Lake said he was not surprised by the offensive production and loved what he saw from the defense and pitching.
“We know that this team can hit. It’s our identity that we can hit one through nine in the lineup and put runs up on the board constantly,” Lake said. “If we can consistently limit runs through pitching and defense we are going to be really dangerous.”
Oklahoma Christian ended up in the bottom half of the conference in both pitching and defense last season and looks to improve this fall.
“It is a focus of ours to improve in those areas,” Empkey said. “Everyone in the program knows our potential especially if we can figure those out.”
The fall portion of the season is a time when the team can work on aspects of their game and get better without the pressure of winning games.
“Obviously, what we do in the fall means nothing when the spring rolls around,” Lake said. “It is a time to get better and figure out what our identity is and so forth.”
Eagles baseball will continue their fall season on Friday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. against Rose State.
Their last two games this fall take place on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m.