The Lawrence University baseball team has experienced some growing pains early on this season. The team has also had to endure the loss of a key hitter in their lineup. On their annual spring trip, the Vikings participated in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. However, the Vikings’ bats never got hot, and the pitchers had trouble hitting their spots, which led to a 1-8 record in Florida. Their one victory came against Grinnell College with a score of 8-2. Senior pitcher Luke Kostreva pitched the whole game, giving up two runs and six hits. Freshman A.J. Nathan led the team with four hits and fellow freshman Zach Owsley led the team with two RBIs. Lawrence continued to struggle upon returning home. Their first series came against Lakeland College, who dominated the Vikings in their home opener. Lawrence was shutout in the first game of the doubleheader, but did manage seven runs in the second game, tying their highest run total of the season. The Vikings then traveled to UW-Oshkosh for a doubleheader but did not fare much better. The Vikings were outscored 41-11 in the two-game series. Last weekend exposed the weaknesses and inexperience of the Vikings. The University of Chicago posted a 24-6 drubbing of the Vikings, only to top it up with a 29-3 victory later that day. Lawrence’s hitters failed to give the pitchers much support, totaling only nine runs in the two games; however, the amount of run support was made unimportant by an abysmal pitching performance from the Vikings, who gave up an 18-run first inning in the second game. Only a handful of Vikings are hitting above .300 on the season, though among them are four freshmen. The Vikings look to get back on track this weekend when they play a home-and-home series against Carroll University Saturday and Sunday.