Fairfield’s baseball team (6-22-1, 4-10 MAAC) has once again struggled through growing pains this season. The young squad has struggled with consistent play especially in league games.

The Stags have one senior on the roster, pitcher Paul Gorra. Manager John Slosar explained that for the players on this year’s team, the season is a learning experience. He commented on the solid leadership from the upperclassmen, but believes “the experience of going through it [a full season] is the best teacher.”

Fairfield has lost nine out of the last ten games and currently has a five-game losing streak. Tough losses have been particularly hard for focus and confidence of the young players on the team. “The losses wear on you a little bit,” Slosar said. “Right now we’re more mentally exhausted than physically.”

Perhaps the most encouraging sign for the Stags has been the play of shortstop Doug Anderson ’06. His greatest strength has been his steady defense. Anderson has shown potential to be a fine hitter though as well. Anderson was clutch as he drove in the winning run against St. Peter’s a week ago. Anderson plays with maturity and understanding of the game that is rarely seen from a freshman.

“He’s the glue in our infield,” Slosar explained. “He’s our best defensive player.” Slosar, who’s coached Fairfield’s baseball team for almost twenty years, explained that Anderson is one of the most dependable defensive players that he’s ever coached.

Much of the Stags trouble this year has been the superb talent in the MAAC. Slosar believes that right now baseball is the most competitive sport in the MAAC, besides men’s and women’s basketball. Top to bottom the MAAC is exceptional, especially Marist and LeMoyne who will likely battle for the MAAC title this year, according to Slosar.

The preseason favorite to win the MAAC, Marist, was as good as advertised in their three-game sweep of the Stags last weekend. In the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader with Marist, Gorra had his best pitching performance of the year. Gorra held the Red Fox hitters at bay for most of the afternoon surrendering only two runs and scattering seven hits. Fairfield hitters were baffled by solid Marist pitching, scoring only three runs in the three games.

Slosar expected a slow start from his young club, but is disappointed that they have not improved more. He explained, “[improvements] really haven’t come at the pace I had hoped. Players and coaches have high standards and we haven’t really lived up to them,” Slosar said.

Fairfield has a weekend series against LeMoyne, which is 13-0 in the MAAC and whom Slosar believes may be the toughest team in the league this year.

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