HIBBING — Before their last game with Greenway, Hibbing VFW baseball co-manager Tim Zubich was hoping to get solid pitching and defense.
After a 13-11 loss, Post 1221 allowed 14 free passes, including hit batters, which means the pitching staff took a hit.
Hibbing gets a chance to redeem itself today when they travel to Duluth to take on East in a doubleheader, beginning at 1 and 3 p.m., at Ordean Field.
All Zubich wants his pitchers to do is pound the strike zone.
“We need to find the strike zone,” Zubich said. “I don’t care if it’s a get-me-over fastball, we need to throw strikes. We’ll make the plays. I don’t necessarily want them to pitch it over the plate, but with the number of walks we had in our last game, but I would prefer them to throw it over the plate, right down the middle.”
With all of the walks and hit batters, that didn’t exactly help out Hibbing’s defense.
“Things like that puts them to sleep,” Zubich said. “They’re standing there for long without any action. That’s when they become flat-footed because there’s no action. That was evident in that one inning.
“We booted it and threw it away. That’s attributed to those long innings, but somebody needs to step up and make a play.”
With as many runners as Post 1221 put on base against Greenway, Hibbing won that part of the battle. Greenway issued 17 walks and hit batters, only Post 1221’s offense didn’t take advantage of that.
“When a team gives you bases, you have to take advantage of it with some clutch hits with runners in scoring position,” Zubich said. “We had some of that. Some of the guys drove the ball into the gaps.
“It was disappointing we came up on the short end, but when I looked at the numbers, those walks, that’s what hurts.”
As for East, Zubich expects to see a talented team.
“It’ll probably be a typical East team, they’ll have arms and they usually swing the bats well,” Zubich said. “They’re usually solid. We have to go out and play some better baseball.
“I think we will. We had a better practice (Monday), and I’m looking forward to it.”
Post 1221 has won two-of-their-last-three games, but that’s not the important part of the season.
“Whether we win or lose, that doesn't matter,” Zubich said. “We want to do the little things better. Once you do those little things better, you can come on the winning side of things.
“Our biggest challenge or test is that we’ll see some good arms that throw above average VFW speed. I want to see that above-average velocity. I want our guys to see that.”