May 16, 2018
By Eric Gilgenbach
Right now is the best time of the year. School is out, finals are over, and it’s time to focus on one thing – playing ball. This is when things start to get exciting. The competition ramps up and team goals start to come to fruition with NCAA tournament bids and championships on the line.
The Irish are in a very good spot as we approach the end of the regular season. We have had a very successful stretch over this past month’s home stand, winning nine out of our last 11 games. Our strong offensive performance against Northwestern gives us confidence going into the series at No. 25 Louisville this weekend.
This series is a big one. It gives us a chance to improve our seeding in the ACC tournament and help our likelihood of a regional bid in the NCAA tournament. It’s a critical series against a talented opponent, so the motivation and adrenaline are there. However, we’re bringing the same mindset that we do to every game: Win one pitch at a time. This philosophy is embedded in our team’s culture and reminds us to focus on the present moment rather than dwell on the past or think about future outcomes. Win enough pitches in a game, and the outcome should be in our favor. This is the same mentality we will be taking to the ACC tournament, where I think we can do some damage.
If we play to our potential, our season won’t be ending anytime soon.
Eric Gilgenbach is a junior outfielder on the Irish baseball team. A native of Rochester Hills, Michigan, Gilgenbach is riding a modest six-game hitting streak, batting .458 (11-24) during that span.