Tag Archives: Baseball

Linfield baseball sees tough match up for home series

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 linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

 

 

Wildcat baseball brings home sweep after California trip

baseball04-14WEB

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.

Junior Kramer Lindell gives a high five to the coach after hitting a two-run home run against Pomona-Pitzer College on April 11. Kramer hit two doubles and scored four runs for the Wildcats. Photo courtesy of Sports Information

Junior Kramer Lindell gives a high five to the coach after hitting a two-run home run against Pomona-Pitzer College on April 11. Kramer hit two doubles and scored four runs for the Wildcats.
Photo courtesy of Sports Information

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 linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

 

Wildcat baseball rises to the top

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 linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Wildcats strike out Missionaries

Senior All-American Tim Wilson races toward second base after hitting a line drive single up the middle, scoring senior Jordan Harlow. Wilson went four for five on the day with one triple and an RBI. 
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior photographer
Senior All-American Tim Wilson races toward second base after hitting a line drive single up the middle, scoring senior Jordan Harlow. Wilson went four for five on the day with one triple and an RBI.  Tyson Takeuchi/Senior photographer

Senior All-American Tim Wilson races toward second base after hitting a line drive single up the middle, scoring senior Jordan Harlow. Wilson went four for five on the day with one triple and an RBI.
Tyson Takeuchi/Senior photographer

The Linfield baseball team swept a three-game series against Whitman College on March 16 and 17, winning 13-1, 3-1 and 7-2.

Juniors Kramer Lindell and Tim Wilson raked at the dish all weekend. Lindell went 7-10 with three walks, six runs scored and one RBI, while Wilson finished 7-11 with two walks, two runs scored, three RBI and two triples. Lindell also added two stolen bases. Both Lindell and Wilson had four hits on Sunday to end their weekends.

After this weekend, Lindell is hitting .459 with an OPS of 1.135. Wilson is not far behind, hitting .403 with an OPS of 1.066.

When asked about his success at the plate, Lindell said, “Our lineup is solid from one to nine and that forces pitchers to go right after you. Staying patient and attacking your pitch has been the formula this year.”

The team effort was evident in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader. Linfield lambasted Whitman’s pitching, highlighted by a seven-run fifth inning where Linfield sent 12 men to the plate. All seven runs in the fifth inning were scored with two outs. Wilson was 3-3, sophomore Corey VanDomelen reached base three times and scored two runs, and junior Jake Wylie smashed three hits—two of them doubles—and knocked in four RBI.

With the game out of hand after six innings—Linfield led 11-0—starting pitcher junior Chris Haddeland (4-1, 0.97 ERA) was pulled after an efficient six innings. He threw 70 pitches, struck out three and allowed just three hits and one walk.

Game two of the doubleheader was a pitcher’s duel between Whitman’s Spencer Hobson and sophomore Aaron Thomassen. Hobson lasted 6 2/3 innings and gave up just one run, despite giving up three hits and six walks.
Thomassen went seven innings, gave up three hits and three walks and just one run. The difference in the game was made by senior third baseman Jordan Harlow. Sophomore Kameron Bates and Wylie on second and third base for Linfield, Harlow drove both men in on a two out two-run single to right field.

“That’s definitely a situation that every athlete waits for…I was really excited. Any time that you are put in a spot to help your team win, it’s a lot of fun,” said Harlow, “it was my turn to pick [my teammates] up. I got a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it.”

With the lead in hand, Huckins picked up the victory for Linfield—his first of the season. He fired two innings in relief of Thomassen, giving up one hit and striking out one.

The game on Sunday was tied at two before a four-run sixth inning gave Linfield the lead for good.

The sixth inning outburst was started with a walk by senior Michael Hopp, a bunt single from Wilson and a walk from Wylie.

Lindell scored Hopp with an infield single, and then junior Nick Fisher delivered the key blow: a bases-clearing triple to right center field. The triple was part of a three-hit day for Fisher.

Lindell and Wilson both had four hits on the day to end their weekends.

Sophomore pitcher Joe Stevick picked up his first victory of the season in relief of starting pitcher junior Zach Brandon. Stevick went 2 1/3 innings and struck out one.

With the victories, Linfield improved its record to 15-3, 8-1 NWC.

The team will travel to Spokane next weekend to play the Whitworth Pirates (9-8-1, 4-2 NWC). Whitworth’s record is misleading—it was picked to win the NWC by the coaches.

“We believe we are better than anyone we will play this year. We believe in ourselves and we play very well in these big games,” Lindell said.

Tyler Bradley/Sports Columnist

Tyler Bradley can be reached at

linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Baseball team has opportunity to finish high in final standings

This Linfield baseball team is going to contend for the Northwest Conference title this year. In fact, they look like they can win it.

Picked to finish third in the NWC this year by the coaches, it’s obvious that their ceiling is much higher than third place if you watch the team.

Except you wouldn’t have known this if you judged them by their first game of the season.

When starting a baseball season, winning a game 6-0 is definitely an ideal outcome. If you are on the losing side of the coin, however, the taste in a team’s mouth is sour—not Sour Patch Kids style—and unwelcome.

Unfortunately for the Linfield baseball team, it started the 2013 season on the losing side of the coin down at a tournament in Arizona. La Verne College was the team who scored six runs. Linfield stranded 12 men on base including five men on third.

This was definitely not the way to start the season, especially considering the disappointing end to 2012. Last year’s team was ranked as high as number two in the country, but fell out of the rankings completely later in the season and finished a pedestrian fourth place in the NWC.

Luckily, Linfield righted the ship in a huge way by eviscerating Redlands University, 15-3. The team hasn’t looked back since then and has dominated in every facet of the game.

In the six games following Redlands, the pitching staff has fired three shutouts and given up a total of three earned runs. That’s a team Earned Run Average (ERA) of .5 with a strikeout per nine-inning rate of 7.32 and a walks per nine-inning rate of 1.97. That’s incredible.

The staff is due for some ERA regression—.5 is not sustainable—but a six game stretch of dominance like that with a strikeout to walk ratio of 3.71/1 means the NWC should be afraid: the pitching staff is a force to be reckoned with.
Good pitching goes hand-in-hand with good defense, and during this weekend, the defense only made two errors and both occurred in the same game. A play that was indicative of the stellar defense by the team was a diving snag by senior third baseman Michael Hopp on Feb. 24 against Oregon Institute of Technology.

The hitting has been outstanding. Even by including the La Verne game, the team has a slash line of .338/.404/.463 and the team was hitting .462 with runners in scoring position and less than two outs entering the game against Oregon Tech on Sunday.

“The way last season ended made us all work harder in the offseason…we are definitely using the disappointment as motivation and we want to be the best,” junior Jake Wiley said. “The team is playing really well right now…the chemistry we have together is amazing.”

Wylie himself launched an absolute moonshot over the left field fence in the fourth inning on Sunday, easily traveling more than 400 feet.

If this seven-game stretch is indicative of the potential of this team, they can travel like Wylie’s moonshot. It seems as if La Verne and last season are in the rear view, and the coaches probably made a mistake when putting Linfield in third place.

Tyler Bradley
Sports columnist

Tyler Bradley can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.