The Midland University baseball team is riding the long ball to a successful season. The Warriors have slammed 52 home runs in just 37 games this year after totaling 30 all of last season.
Senior outfielder Dylan Steyer leads the way with 12 round trippers and set the school’s all-time career mark with his 31st in Sunday’s win over Morningside.
Midland coach Chad Miller admits the power numbers have changed the way he approaches the running game.
“This is probably one of the least aggressive teams that I have coached on the bases”, said Miller. “We do have some guys that we feel like can run in the right situation. However, we certainly don’t want to run ourselves into outs when you have guys who have the potential to leave the yard with any swing.”
Miller expects a lot of close games ahead in the Great Plains Conference race and says they will continue to focus on all the facets of offense but the Warriors have built an identity with the bat. They rank fifth in the country with a team batting average of .352 and rank sixth in slugging at .561.
“This my 11th year as a head baseball coach at the NAIA level and without question this is the most potent team offensively that I have had. On the flip side a lot of guys with power tend to be swing and miss guys so we have worked hard making sure that when we get to two strike counts we are productive and putting the ball in play.”
Midland is 24-12-1 overall and off to a 3-1 start in the GPAC. The Warriors return to action at home on Saturday against Briar Cliff.