We thought it would be fun to compare this year’s baseball team with last year’s successful NCAA tournament team. Delving further into the statistics, several key findings can be drawn between this year’s and last year’s Tribe baseball team.
To begin, Tribe baseball ranks #2 in overall CAA standings and hold an 11-3 record in conference play. This puts the team neck and neck with the College of Charleston, who is also having an outstanding year. Notably, the closest team to W&M in the standings is Delaware at a meager 7-7.
When comparing the overall records of the 2013 team and 2014 Tribe teams at this stage in the season, it looks something like this:
Tribe Baseball Record on May 1 in 2013: 28-17 (11-7 CAA)
Tribe Baseball Record on May 1 in 2014: 27-15 (11-3 CAA)
While the overall win/loss total for each team is almost identical, at this point last season the Tribe played 4 more CAA games— and consequently had 4 more losses in the CAA. This year’s squad has 6 more CAA games remaining on the schedule, including a home stand against Towson and a crucial series away at the College of Charleston.
So how is this year’s team racking up the wins this year? Is the team relying more on its hitting or its pitching?
First, to check in on the Tribe offense, let’s take a look at team totals for Batting Average, On Base Percentage, and Slugging Average from last season and the team’s current stats from this season [stats via Tribe Athletics].
2013 Batting avg.: .290 – 2014 BA: .324
2013 OBP: .376 – 2014 OBP: .418
2013 SLG: .370 – 2014 SLG: .503
When comparing the Tribe’s current hitting stats against last year’s totals, one can clearly see the Tribe offense has gone from good to great. Outstanding hitting, led by Juniors Nick Thompson (.400) and Michael Katz (.388) have catapulted the team’s overall numbers. On top of that, several every day players are batting over .300.
If this year’s offense is better than last year’s team that qualified for the NCAA tournament, how is the team’s pitching? W&M fans who followed the team last year will fondly remember the Tribe’s solid stable of pitchers that consistently kept the team in games, most notably against Ole Miss and NC State in the 2013 NCAA tournament.
To examine pitching, we’ll look at ERA and opponent batting average.
2013 total ERA: 4.07 – 2014: 4.44
2013 Opponent avg.: .278 – 2014: .277
While opponent batting average has stayed almost exactly the same, total ERA is .37 over the 2013 number. After losing two key inning-eating pitchers such as John Farrell and Brett Koehler to graduation, the Tribe has rebounded nicely and utilized a plethora of pitchers to get the job done on the mound this year.
Overall, in key offensive and defensive statistical categories, the Tribe stacks up nicely with last year’s tournament team. If the Tribe can stay hot hitting the ball and continue to deliver solid games from the mound, especially in CAA match ups, the team will have another chance to represent William & Mary on the national stage.
Next Game: vs. Towson @ Plumeri Park on Friday, May 2nd at 7 P.M.