Wright State golf coach Brian Arlinghaus never wants his players spending time in the rough, of course, but that’s exactly where he goes when he’s looking for recruits.
For mid-major golf programs to succeed, they need to make sure they find plenty of diamonds in the rough.
Raider freshmen Davis Root and Cole Corder fit that profile. Root helped Dublin Jerome to the Division I state title as a senior, while Corder played for state runner-up Powell Liberty.
Neither was the best golfer on his team — Root finished in a tie for 20th at the state and Corder in a tie for 15th — but both showed oodles of upside while facing top-tier competition in high school.
“They had barely scratched the surface of their potential. That was one of the things that was kind of nice,” Arlinghaus said. “If they tear it up as a junior and senior, the bigger schools are going to have a better look at them.
“But we developed relationships with these guys and got to know them as people. It worked out really well.”
Corder is fifth on the team with a 75.86 average, and he finished in a tie for fourth at the 18-team Invitational at Savannah Harbor in February, shooting rounds of 72, 70 and 73.
Root is fourth in scoring at 75.5, and he was team medalist with a 27th-place showing at Musketeers Classic in October, shooting 9-over 222 in the three-round event at Maketewah Country Club in Cincinnati.
Arlinghaus praised his two rookies for bringing the right attitude to the program.
“We pride ourselves on being very blue-collar,” he said. “You have to work for what you get, and there’s no room on this team for a sense of entitlement. You can run that risk of ‘silver spoons.’
“They’re really good players and really good people, and I’m happy they’re Raiders.”
Sophomore Austin Schoonmaker has led the Raiders in scoring in six of nine events and has a 73.6 average. Senior Mitch Lehigh is second at 74.92 and sophomore Bryce Haney third at 75.32.
Baseball: The Raiders are still looking for their first three-game sweep in a Horizon League series this season. But as long as they keep winning two out of three each time, you won’t hear coach Alex Sogard complaining.
They’ve done that in all three conference series so far and are 6-3, a half-game behind first-place UIC.
“We try to win every game we play, but, in baseball, we know that’s not going to happen. We just want to win every series,” Sogard said.
The Raiders (20-8), who visit Northern Kentucky for three games this weekend, are coming off a 15-4 win over Indiana and former Wright State coach Jeff Mercer on the road Wednesday. The Hoosiers (17-11) were picked fourth in the Big Ten preseason poll.
Peyton Burdick and Tyler Black both homered, and Black and Seth Gray knocked in three runs each.
Burdick leads the league in average (.418) and RBIs (33) and is second in homers (6). He was named to the Perfect Game Midseason All-American team this week.
Softball: Second-year coach Laura Matthews is a former Dayton player, as is assistant Kennedy Haynes. That adds a little spice to the annual showdown with the Flyers.
The Raiders were run-ruled by UD last season, but they avenged that defeat with a 7-5 win at home on March 20.
“It’s always fun coaching and playing against them. It’s a great rivalry,” Matthews said. “I know there’s a ton of respect on both sides for each other. A lot of our players have grown up playing travel ball and high school ball against each other. There’s a lot of familiarity.”
The Raiders (15-20, 3-6), play at three-game series at IUPUI this weekend.
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