Senior outfielder Tyson Smith set the Linfield record for stolen bases in a single season during a game against the University of Puget Sound on April 3. Three days later, Smith added three more steals, breaking the Linfield’s all-time record.
This season, the speedy player has picked up 27 stolen bases, surpassing the previous season record of 23, which stood for 15 years. In his career, Smith has stolen 49 bases, which leaves him one bag away from setting the career-stolen-base record.
“It feels good to be a part of the history of Linfield baseball,” he said. “It’s not really something that I thought about until I got the record, but it is pretty cool to have.”
Smith began his baseball career at the age of four and has loved the sport since then. Speed has always been one of his strengths as a player, Smith said, and developing the necessary skills to steal bases comes as a result of that. He devoted time and energy to it, and the result of his hard work earned him a place in the Wildcat history books.
“I have learned to be confident and believe that I am going to be safe every time I steal,” Smith said. “If I get a good enough jump off the pitcher, no one can throw me out.”
This season, Smith has helped the ’Cats to a 19-8 record (11-4 NWC) and a current second-place standing in the Northwest Conference. They are well within striking distance of first-place Pacific Lutheran University, and Smith said he believes this year’s squad is more than capable of taking the NWC crown.
“Even with the recent losses, I think our team still has the ability to win league this year,” Smith said. “My goal is to help the team win the conference title and to have a chance to play in the regional tournament at our home field. Right now, I am focused on staying consistent for the rest of the season and helping the team win the important games we have in the next few weeks.”
After graduating from Linfield, Smith plans to pursue professional baseball as a career. Playing baseball is what he said he loves to do above all else and would love to play after college. But if it doesn’t pan out, he intends to remain involved in the sports field however he can.
The ’Cats next face Lewis & Clark College at home at noon April 10 and again at 1 p.m. April 11.
Freelancer Chris Forrer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org