Wildcats end preseason strong
Wildcat baseball completed its preseason with a 7-1 record, with its sole loss during the first game against La Verne.
The ‘Cats devoured Oregon Institute of Technology on Feb. 24, winning 11-0. Junior Zach Brandon pitched seven shutout innings, only allowing three hits and no walks.
Four Wildcats had multi-hitters, juniors Jake Wylie, Tim Wilson, sophomore Chance Laboda and senior Michael Hopp. Wylie scored three runs with a homer, double and single.
From the beginning, the Wildcats held a strong defense with the infield making solid catches. Wilson scored the first run of the game on Wylie’s double.
The Wildcats continued to score runs, with the Owls struggling to gain hits, and they had five errors throughout the game. The Owls remained scoreless at the end of the fifth, while the ‘Cats earned a large lead with five runs.
Five runs were made by the Wildcats in the seventh, securing their last pregame victory.
Two wins were gained during a doubleheader against Corban and Pacific on Feb. 23. Sophomore Chris Haddeland and senior Zach Manley started, with Haddeland earning his first season win and Manley gaining his second.
Five different Wildcats scored runs, allowing them to secure their win against Corban, with the score 5-2. Sophomore Joe Stevick came in and had two scoreless innings, earning his first save.
During the match against Pacific, the Boxers ended scoreless and only had three hits and one error. The Wildcats took the game, winning 4-0.
Sophomore Aaron Thomassen only allowed one run on three hits and five strikeouts during the game against Pacific Lutheran on Feb. 22. The Wildcats won 3-1. Junior Nate McClellan was a standout, with a double during the first and two RBI.
The Lutes’ pitcher struck out Wylie and left McClellan out on second after a double out. In the second, the Lutes scored the first run, but junior Clayton Truex scored the tying run with a fielder’s choice during the fifth.
Sophomore Corey VanDomelan and Wilson both earned runs for the Wildcats in the last of the inning.
Both teams remained scoreless for the remainder of the game, securing another victory for the Wildcats.
The ‘Cats end the trip with a 3-1 record in Arizona.
The Wildcats will play their next series against Pacific, beginning at 11 a.m. March 2 at the Roy Helser field.
Ivanna Tucker/ Sports editor
Ivanna Tucker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.