Tag Archives: Baseball
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
The Linfield baseball team swept a three-game series against Pomona-Pitzer and exacted revenge for a loss earlier in the season against La Verne on April 14.
With the four victories, the No. 2 Wildcats improved their record to 26-5.
On April 12, Linfield defeated Pomona-Pitzer 6-2 behind sophomore Chris Haddeland’s (8-1, 1.14 ERA) fifth complete game of the season and timely hitting from the heart of the batting order.
Haddeland struck out five and walked just one in his nine innings of work. He did give up his first home run of the season. Ironically, it was to the opposing pitcher, Jake Bruml, his second home run of the season.
The heart of the order — juniors Jake Wylie, Kramer Lindell and Nick Fisher — combined to go 5-9 at the plate with two walks, scoring all six Linfield runs and driving in four RBI. Lindell added two stolen bases and Fisher added one, as well.
“It’s always fun to get the opportunity to play in California and in nice weather, so I just went up to the plate and had fun at each bat,” Lindell said.
Pomona-Pitzer, ranked No. 22 in the country entering the weekend, committed a staggering 14 errors during the April 11 doubleheader (it committed two in the game on Friday).
Game one, a 15-4 Linfield victory, was highlighted by a seven-run fourth inning where Linfield sent 12 men to the plate.
Game two ended 9-3 in Linfield’s favor, highlighted by an eight-run second inning.
“That was…the most errors I had seen in a day. Their infield played really fast and had some strange hops…luckily for us, we caught a lot of breaks,” Lindell said.
The breaks were accompanied by the consistent hitting. The second inning featured two errors from the Sagehens, seven Wildcat hits and two home runs—a three-run bomb by senior Clayton Truex and a two-run shot from Lindell.
Senior catcher Kyle Chamberlain crushed his first home run of the season in the sixth inning to round out the Linfield scoring.
All-American second baseman senior Tim Wilson went 5-10 during the doubleheader with five runs scored, two RBI and four stolen bases. Lindell went 5-11 with the home run, two doubles, four runs scored and five RBI, while Fisher went 4-9 with two runs scored, three RBI and a stolen base.
Sophomore Aaron Thomassen (8-0, 1.08) and junior Zach Brandon (5-2, 2.98) started the doubleheader games.
Thomassen struck out six in five innings of work, giving up one unearned run.
Brandon threw seven innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk.
On April 14, the ‘Cats destroyed La Verne 13-1.
Freshman Cody Erraut made his first career start and got the victory, going five innings and giving up just one hit.
Juniors Justin Huckins and Garett Speyer both threw two innings out of the bullpen to complete the game.
The ‘Cats racked up 20 hits on the day. Some standouts included Wilson and Fisher, who both went 4-6, and junior Nate McClellan, who went 3-5 and drove in three runs.
Linfield returns to conference play April 20 and 21 with the most important series of the season.
George Fox University (24-9, 17-4 NWC) will travel to Roy Helser Field for a three-game series. George Fox trails Linfield (26-5, 15-3) by one game in the NWC loss column.
Tyler Bradley/Sports columnist
Tyler Bradley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big weekends from junior Nick Fisher and senior Tim Wilson, along with continued starting pitching excellence helped Linfield baseball stretch its winning streak to six games March 23 and 24, with a three-game sweep of Whitworth. The ‘Cats won 5-2, 14-2 and 10-5.
With the victories, Linfield now sits alone at the top of the NWC standings with an 18-3, 11-1 NWC record. Whitworth, which was predicted to finish first in the NWC preseason coaches poll, dropped to 9-12-1 and 4-5 in conference play with the three losses.
When asked about Whitworth’s struggles as a comparison to last year’s Wildcats, Fisher said, “with how competitive this conference is year in and year out, it seems like when you’re the team that’s expected to perform, you get everybody’s best game. This Whitworth team is nearly exactly the same as it was last year. It just doesn’t seem like it has the drive or desire that it brought to us when we played it a year ago.”
Any drive Whitworth had was stymied by sophomore Chris Haddeland (5-1, 1.17 ERA) in game one of March 23’s doubleheader, as he hurled his third complete game of the season, giving up just two runs on seven hits and two walks, while striking out six. The Linfield offense supplied Haddeland with runs in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings to hand Whitworth starter Dan Scheibe, an All-NWC first-team selection last year, his second loss of the season.
When asked about the success against Scheibe, Fisher said, “It becomes even more important to be selective with the pitches you’re seeing up there. We all started to notice how he was trying to pitch us──like throwing a forkball with only two strikes to right-handed hitters, or starting middle of the order guys off with curveballs. And with the bats we have in this lineup, once we have a really good idea of what pitches are coming, it’s scary to see what we can do offensively.”
Fisher, senior Jordan Harlow and junior Kramer Lindell had multiple hits in game one, and junior Jake Wylie lashed a key two-run single to score Harlow and Wilson in the ninth inning to extend Linfield’s lead to 5-1. Wilson went 2-4 in the game with a single, double, RBI, run scored and a stolen base.
Linfield translated its success against Scheibe into a 14-2 demolition in game two, highlighted by a five-hit game from the All-American, Wilson. Wilson scored five runs, drove in three and launched his first bomb of the season to start a five-run Linfield ninth inning. With the five hits, Wilson became just the second Wildcat in the past decade to collect seven hits during a doubleheader.
The RBI opportunities were plentiful for the middle of the order, with Wilson, sophomore Corey VanDomelen and senior Kenny Johnson reaching base 10 times in 13 combined plate appearances. Fisher and Wylie each had two hits during the game. Fisher and Lindell knocked in two runs apiece, and Wylie knocked in three. Harlow also had two hits in the seven hole.
Starting pitcher sophomore Aaron Thomassen (5-0, 0.86 ERA) lasted 6 1/3 innings and gave up two runs (one earned). He allowed eight hits and three walks but worked out of jams in the second, fourth and sixth innings. Junior Garett Speyer took over for Thomassen with one out and two runners on base in the seventh, but he recorded the final two outs of the inning on a pop out and a strikeout.
Speyer remained in the game to finish the final two innings and gave up just two hits.
Junior Zach Brandon (4-1, 2.13 ERA) threw five scoreless innings in game three March 24 and Fisher mashed to a tune of 3-4 with three runs scored and two RBI en route to the 10-5 victory.
Fisher helped start the scoring in the second inning with a single and a stolen base. Junior Nate McClellan, struggling of late, drove Fisher in with a double to left field.
In the fourth inning, the ‘Cats had two outs but loaded the bases with a Fisher single and back-to-back walks from McClellan and Harlow. Senior catcher Kyle Chamberlain, also struggling at the plate before the game, came to the plate with the bases juiced and produced a key two-run single to score Fisher and McClellan.
The fifth inning saw the ‘Cats break the game open, scoring five runs and stretching the lead to 8-0. Three straight hits from Wilson, VanDomelen and Wylie produced one run, and then Lindell was intentionally walked to load the bases for Fisher. Fisher made Whitworth pay with a bases-clearing double.
In relief of Brandon, sophomore Joe Stevick had a rough outing, giving up five hits and four earned runs in one inning of work. Junior Justin Huckins pitched the final three innings, ceding just two hits and one unearned run, while striking out two.
The Wildcats look to continue their winning streak this weekend, with a doubleheader March 29 and one game on March 30 against Puget Sound (10-13, 5-4 NWC).
Tyler Bradley/Sports columnist
Tyler Bradley can be reached at email@example.com.