DeKALB – For DeKalb baseball coach Jake Howells, it’s impossible to pinpoint one thing for the Barbs’ lack of success in 2013.
Monday’s 13-3 loss to Yorkville saw the Foxes score five runs in the first inning to put the Barbs (7-13, 2-8 Northern Illinois Big 12 East), in an immediate hole.
The Barbs got solo home runs from Jared Johnson and Jake Kuykendall and an RBI single from Danny Petras, but that was all the offense they could muster against tough Yorkville (13-10, 7-3) lefty Kyle Shimp as DeKalb had trouble putting runs on the board once again.
The Foxes batted around in the first inning against Barbs’ starter John Crosby and never looked back. It was another part of what’s been a tough conference season for DeKalb.
“It’s hard to say one thing. I mean, it’d be nice if you could just say ‘Hey, if we could do this better than we’d be winning all of our games.’ ” Howells said. “That’s really hard to do in baseball because there’s so many parts in the game.
“Just consistency across the board. Obviously anybody can say if you hit better, play defense better, run the bases better, you’ll win more games, but that’s where we’re at.”
Kuykendall, who finished the game 1 for 3, was able to get a home run into the wind and take Shimp over the left field fence in the fourth inning.
He thinks when the Barbs do get some consistency, the hitting will be contagious.
“Once everyone starts going, I think we’ll be fine,” he said. “We’re just kind of struggling throughout the board. We just need to hit and we’ll be fine.”
The Barbs did hit for power Monday. However, no one was on base for Kuykendall and Johnson and Dekalb wasn’t able to put up a crooked number and a dent into the Yorkville lead.
To Howells, the important thing was they were hard line drives, something the team could certainly use more of.
“I’m just happy to see our kids hit the ball hard. Whether it’s a line drive up the middle, or a home run to left-center field, just hitting the ball hard is good for me,” he said. “I’m happy they went out, I’m happy we hit home runs, obviously it’s a run and everything, but I’m happy to see the kids hitting, basically.”