The argument could be made that the USC Beaufort baseball team endured the worst weekend of its three-year existence when the Sand Sharks were on the wrong end of a three-game sweep at Webber International on Friday and Saturday.
Now USCB has to hope history repeats itself.
After squandering two late leads in Saturday's doubleheader, the Sand Sharks were swept in a three-game series for the first time since dropping three at Warner on Feb. 27-28, 2009 -- the first month of their inaugural season.
USCB responded to that setback by winning 10 consecutive games, including back-to-back three-game sweeps of conference opponents. With Northwood, which is tied with USCB for fourth place in the Sun Conference at 3-3, and league leader Embry-Riddle (9-0 in conference) looming the next two weekends, the Sand Sharks would be thrilled for a repeat.
It wouldn't be the first time this season they responded to adversity with a long winning streak -- they rode a 10-game streak into the weekend series at Webber International, a stretch that came on the heels of an ugly 13-1 loss to Brewton-Parker in this season's home opener.
COMING UP SHORT
One of USCB coach Rick Sofield's biggest concerns entering the season was replacing Blake Sanders' steady defense at shortstop. The Sand Sharks were plagued by errors at that position in 2009, and Sanders' solid glove work helped them improve to 39-15 a year ago.
That concern came to fruition at Webber International, as USCB's shortstops combined to make five errors. Larry Perry, who made the move to shortstop two weeks ago after playing second base and in the outfield last season, made four errors in the first two games of the series, and fellow junior college transfer Daniel Wass committed an error in the third game.
Perry and Wass have combined for 11 errors through 15 games -- Sanders made 13 all of last season.
Another of Sofield's preseason worries was a suddenly thin relief corps, which was dinged by academic ineligibility and injury during the offseason.
In the early going, though, that concern had faded to the background, as relievers Andrew Barrineau, Andres Castro and Colton Rudd anchored a solid bullpen.
The bullpen suffered its first major hiccup on Saturday, as three relievers combined to allow five runs over two innings, allowing Webber International to rally from a 6-0 deficit for a 7-6 win in the final game of the series.