longer for northern teams to come into their own due to practice limitations and so many early games on the road. By the time they get into their groove they have accumulated too many losses to overcome the early season and they play similar school which result in initial lower rpis which carry forward throughout the season. It is not fair but it would be difficult to change w/o going to split fall/spring seasons with later starting springs or playing summer ball. We have two elite starters and several serviceable ones and an elite reliever and a few serviceable ones. Our hitting is average to slightly above average.
This season appears to be the opposite of your example.
ND beat warm weather schools on the road early in the season.
They returned home to play other Northern teams and have struggled.
I agree with your assessment of ND's talent level.
still concentrated in a couple of guys in the middle of the lineup. If we can get more consistent production from a couple more guys that will go a long way to better success. Even with mid-week pitching I thought our offense would carry us better against other teams mid-week starters. As I recall that early season stretch we had some big hits from guys other than those in the middle. A consistent DeSico would go a long way. He seems to be hitting better. Although we've turned a lot of DPs, we've also grounded into a lot of them at seemingly very important times.
Our pitching has been the biggest thing to have tailed off from earlier this season. Looks like Fitzgerald is settling into bullpen but our starters aren't as dominant. Control is probably the biggest problem lately and that can make even average opponents look better. Connaughton and Norton have to take charge and keep games close. We still seems to be adept at winning close games so that's reason for hope.
I haven't heard much about the awful baserunning gaffes we've had but I do recall a situation last weekend where we had a runner thrown out stealing 3rd with 2 out and Bull at the plate. There's a difference between aggressive baserunning and bad baserunning and we are just not dominant enough to make base running mistakes.
This weekend should be a good litmus test as it's on the road against a Pitt team that is just outside top 25.