Tag Archives: Baseball
The baseball team had a split doubleheader against Western Oregon University on Feb. 16 at home.
The first game was taken by Linfield after 4 innings of back and forth strikes, but at the fifth inning the ’Cats took the lead by five runs. Sophomore Finn McMichael scored the first run after Senior Jake Wylie sent it right down the middle of the field.
At the end of the seventh inning Sophomore Eric Lawson got another run for Linfield. There were then two more hitless innings to seal up a win for Linfield ending 6-0.
The second game went to the Wolves after five more scoreless innings the ’Cats couldn’t hold off Western Oregon any more giving them four runs in two innings. In the finally inning the Wolves got another run and on the Wildcats last rally for a point they got shutout by the pitcher.
Linfield will play three games at home during Father’s Weekend, Feb. 21-23 facing off against Corban University, St. Martin’s College and Oregon Tech University.
Stephanie Hofmann/Sports editor
Photo-Helen Lee/Photo editor
The baseball team received their championship rings during half-time at the first home football game on Sept. 21. The team captured the NCAA Division III National Championship title last May. The Wildcat season ended with a record of 42-8, and went 21-3 in the Northwest Conference.
The trophy cases in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium need to expand.
The Linfield Wildcats baseball team dispatched the Southern Maine University Huskies 4-1 to win the first Division III baseball championship in program history.
On the mound for the Wildcats was National Pitcher of the Year, sophomore Chris Haddeland (15-1, 1.07 ERA). He went the distance—his eighth complete game of the season— and struck out five, but only after a shaky first inning.
“I was probably a little too amped up and that caused me to make some poor pitches. I was also having difficulty with my footing on the mound,” Haddeland said.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, he found his footing and his proper level of adrenaline and did not give up a run after the first inning. It was the normal, dominant Haddeland once again.
“Luckily I found a groove and managed to work my way out of the jam and continue to throw successfully throughout the day,” Haddeland said.
When the last out was made, the ‘Cats made one last dogpile on the field in Appleton, Wis. Linfield fans everywhere, past and present, in Appleton, McMinnville and across the country, could celebrate.
The 10-1 Linfield rout earlier in the week was buoyed by strong hitting up and down the line-up. Junior Jake Wylie even waved goodbye to his two run home run. Sophomore Aaron Thomassen provided what was perhaps his best start of an excellent season in the 10-1 win as well, throwing a complete game, striking out nine and giving up just the one run.
The 4-1 win for all the marbles was a much closer game. In fact, the ‘Cats trailed 1-0 until the fourth inning. Husky starting pitcher Andrew Richards had not given up solid contact until junior Nick Fisher smoked a double to left-center field in the fourth.
Maybe it was just a matter of time before the ‘Cats got to Richards. After all, Richards was nearing the 200 pitch mark for the day because he had thrown an unbelievable 152 in their 5-4 win against Ithaca College earlier in the day.
After Fisher’s double, Wylie popped out but junior Kramer Lindell singled to left field. This brought junior Clayton Truex to the plate with runners on first and third, and he delivered with a line drive to center field.
The ‘Cats would not stop there. Senior Jordan Harlow, who had a two-run double against the Huskies earlier in the week, was intentionally walked to load the bases for senior Kyle Chamberlain.
Much to the surprise of the Huskies, Chamberlain laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt that could not be fielded cleanly. Lindell scored and Linfield grabbed a lead that would not be taken away.
The ‘Cats would score the only other runs in the same inning. Senior Michael Hopp was hit by a pitch to drive in the third run, and senior Tim Wilson used his incredible speed to beat a throw at first and score the fourth run.
The team had been playing with heavy hearts after the second game of the regional tournament. Longtime Linfield fan and supporter Arnold Owens, a 1954 Linfield graduate, died unexpectedly just hours after the ‘Cats defeated the Huskies 10-1 earlier in the week.
He always supported the baseball team and was in Appleton last week watching the ‘Cats. But, Owens did get to see the team that the ‘Cats would need to defeat again in order to win the national championship.
As you can tell, there was a lot of work done at the plate by the bottom of the order. Whatever it took, the ‘Cats found a way to win it.
Samantha Sigler / Editor-in-chief
Samantha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Linfield baseball team took two of three games from Pacific Lutheran University on April 6 and 7, winning 12-8 and 10-2 and losing 3-1.
In game one on April 6, the doubleheader featured a matchup of two of the best pitchers in the NWC. Sophomore Chris Haddeland (7-1, 1.02) emerged victorious for Linfield, while Max Beatty (5-3, 2.44) was knocked around by the ‘Cats in his worst outing of the season. Haddeland struck out 11, a career high, in seven innings, while giving up just three hits and three walks.
Beatty, who missed all of last season after being diagnosed with cancer, pitched five innings and gave up nine runs (eight earned) on 13 hits and two walks, while striking out six. Beatty had given up a total of eight earned runs the entire season before this game so he saw his ERA balloon from 1.33 to 2.44. Beatty was named the top professional prospect in Division III last season by Baseball America, but the Linfield bats were not intimidated.
Linfield scored three runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings en route to building a 12-0 lead. Senior Tim Wilson, juniors Jake Wylie and Kramer Lindell all had three hits on the day, and Wylie, Lindell and junior Nick Fisher combined for 10 RBI.
Senior Clayton Truex had two hits for the ‘Cats, and senior Kyle Chamberlain continued his hot hitting with two hits, as well. Fisher and sophomore Corey VanDomelen combined for the six walks Linfield accumulated during the game.
When asked about the success against Beatty, Fisher said “Beatty’s fastball was his best weapon, and he just wasn’t throwing it very often. We could sit on his off-speed pitches and make him come to our zone, and…he elevated a lot of those pitches.”
Aside from the hitting, a troubling trend continued for the Linfield bullpen, with the combination of sophomores Joe Stevick, Kyle Billeci and junior Garett Speyer combining to give up seven runs (six earned) on two hits and seven walks. Neither Stevick nor Billeci recorded an out, but Speyer eventually closed the door on Pacific Lutheran’s chances. This comes on the heels of a shaky bullpen performance in the 9-7 loss to Puget Sound on March 30.
The second game of the doubleheader ended in a 10-2 Linfield victory, highlighted by seven strong innings from sophomore Aaron Thomassen (7-0, 1.18 ERA) and 12 more Linfield hits.
Thomassen struck out seven and walked just two, while giving up six hits and one earned run. Freshman Cody Erautt pitched the final two innings, striking out three and giving up one earned run.
The ‘Cats chased Pacific Lutheran starter Cory Nelson after just 4 1/3 innings. Nelson gave up eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits and three walks. In a tale of the number three, Truex lashed three hits, senior Jordan Harlow scored three runs and Wilson collected three RBI. Linfield smashed 10 doubles in the two doubleheader games combined.
During Sunday’s 3-1 Linfield loss, Pacific Lutheran starting pitcher Trevor Lubking (7-1, 1.82 ERA) was throwing a no hitter through 5 2/3 innings before Fisher broke it up with a single to center field. Lubking threw a season high 135 pitches, while striking out nine, and although Lubking entered the game with just 11 walks on the season, Linfield stretched its league leading walk total nonetheless. He issued six walks and six hits but scattered them throughout the game. None of the hits went for extra bases.
Linfield made Lubking and the Lutes sweat it out in the ninth inning, however, by loading the bases. Wylie, the NWC leader in RBI came up to the plate and put a good swing on a pitch, but there would be no clutch hit for Linfield on this day, as it landed safely in the glove of the left fielder.
“The entire weekend was just a wet, cold, grind-it-out kind of series…Today was definitely frustrating because the entire season, even in games where we weren’t all there offensively, it felt like every game our bats were about to finally get the big hit we needed…but today it didn’t, sometimes that’s just the nature of the game,” Fisher said.
Linfield starting pitcher junior Zach Brandon (4-2, 2.86 ERA) had a decent outing, striking out six in six innings while giving up three runs, but he ended up taking the loss anyhow. Junior Justin Huckins pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth innings and struck out three. Linfield pitchers combined to strike out 32 Pacific Lutheran batters in 26 innings, which is well above their season K/9 rate of 7.7.
With the 3-1 win, Pacific Lutheran snapped its six-game conference losing streak, while the loss pushed Linfield into a tie in the loss column with George Fox.
The ‘Cats travel to California next weekend for three nonconference games—two against Pomona-Pitzer and one against La Verne. La Verne shut out Linfield earlier this year, 6-0 in the first game of the season.
Tyler Bradley / Sports Columnist
Tyler Bradley can be reached at email@example.com
You may not be aware, but the last home baseball series of the year will be a titanic collegiate clash this weekend.
There are two teams in the Northwest Conference this year that have been a step above the entire league, and each Linfield student has the chance to see them April 20 and 21 at Roy Helser field.
In my honest opinion, each Linfield student should attend. After all, how can one resist an epic collegiate clash?
One of the featured teams is Linfield. With a record of 15-3 in the NWC and 26-5 overall, Linfield is ranked No. 2 in the country.
The other team is George Fox. With a record of 17-4 in the NWC and 24-9 overall, George Fox is ranked No. 17 in the country.
“We are all excited for the Fox series…we have been on the road…so being home will be nice,” junior outfielder Kramer Lindell said.
The seismic movements from the series at Roy Helser field will be felt in the NWC standings. I’m not kidding, the standings might actually crumble to pieces. Roy Helser field will be shaking with intensity.
Needless to say, the stakes are high for these games.
“We want to win the series. If we do this and continue playing well afterward, we can put ourselves in a good position to win the league,” said Linfield starting pitcher, sophomore Chris Haddeland.
Haddeland, sophomore Aaron Thomassen and junior Zach Brandon have been one of the best starting pitching trios in the country this year. With ERA’s of 1.14, 1.08 and 2.98 respectively, Fox’s offense is in for a test of its own.
Linfield and George Fox’s pitching staffs need to be careful, however.
These two offenses are the best in the conference. Linfield All-American senior Tim Wilson is hitting .444, Lindell is hitting .440 and junior Nick Fisher is hitting .421.
There is only one player in the NWC that has a higher batting average than all three of them, and his name is Josh Rapacz. As you might guess, he plays for George Fox, and his .500 batting average is the fifth best in the country.
Linfield junior Jake Wylie is tied for second in the NWC in home runs with five. One of the other players with five home runs plays for George Fox.
In fact, George Fox and Linfield rank 1-2 in home runs in the NWC. They also rank 1-2 in OPS, stolen bases and runs scored.
“Our bats have come alive…if we keep swinging it like we can, there is no one that can beat us,” Lindell said.
On the pitching side, the teams rank 1-2 in ERA and home runs allowed, but Linfield has the advantage on the pitching side (2.35 ERA compared to Fox’s 3.39 ERA), and this may be a key factor in deciding who wins the series.
Both teams have shown they can hit, so the ‘Cats pitching and defense will have to continue the stellar work they have done all year.
“I am excited, it’s always fun to test yourself against a really good team…a prolific offense like George Fox,” Haddeland said.
The stage is set and the players will be tested. Hopefully, the standings and Roy Helser field will be able to handle the intensity that this three-game series promises to supply.
You don’t want to miss it. Titanic collegiate clashes don’t happen often.
Tyler Bradley/Sports columnist
Tyler Bradley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.