It was a rainy ball game for the Wildcats who defeated the Pacific Lutheran University in a series.
On April 4, it was ace pitcher, junior Chris Haddeland on the mound for the ’Cats. The first inning was a stoic inning with neither team scoring any runs. However, in the bottom of the second, it was clear that the Wildcats had decided to make their move. As senior Clayton Truex singled to left field, senior catcher Jake Wylie cracked a home run driving in Truex, earning two RBI, and putting the score 2-0 ’Cats. The third and fourth inning continued the excitement as it was a battle of the pitchers—the Lutes earning three hits and the Wildcats earning two. However, the score remained 2-0 in favor of the ’Cats. Linfield would then score again in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI from senior Kenny Johnson and thus continuing their lead, 3-0. The ’Cats would shut down the Lutes from then on earning another conference victory.
The second game however, was much more eventful for the ’Cats who took another victory from the Lutes 7-1. Their first score came in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI from senior Nate McClellan. However, the climax of the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning as Linfield drove in four runs to give them a 5-0 lead. With another home run and RBI from Wylie, with addition to RBI’s from McClellan and senior Corey VanDomelen, the Wildcats had exploited their dominance on the field. Although the Lutes attempted a come back and pulled off one run in the top of the sixth, they wouldn’t see another. The Wildcats cleaned up their double header in the bottom of the eighth with yet another home run from Wylie driving in two runs.
In the third match of the series, the ’Cats owned their dominance with a 6-1 victory. Half of Linfield’s six runs came in the bottom of the first inning with RBI’s from senior Nick Fischer, Truex, and McClellan. Then, the ’Cats would score two unearned runs in the third inning, increasing their lead to 5-0. They would score once more in the bottom of the sixth from an RBI by Fischer and the Lutes demonstrated no signs of a comeback.
“It’s great to be 15-1, we’re able to control our destiny in terms of a conference title,” Haddeland said. “But although we’ve gotten off to a great start we know there is still a lot of season left and we need to keep improving and working toward being the best team we can be. Obviously we wanted to win the series. We knew they had some quality arms in their rotation, but our hitters were able to grind out a few runs in the first game and blew the second one open. Right now we’re still focused on winning conference. We take each game one at a time and make sure we’re not over looking anyone.”
With their diligent and relentless attitude, it is exciting to see what the ’Cats will be able to produce in the future. Only time will tell how their gifted skills and teamwork will combine to become something greater themselves.
Casie Gaza/Senior sports reporter