Tag Archives: Baseball

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.

Sophomore catcher Chance Laboda attempts to hit the ball during the game against Oregon Institute of Technology, winning 10-0. Laboda went 2-3 for hitting and scored two runs for the Wildcats.

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 linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com

Photo by Ivanna Tucker

Freshman pitcher stands strong on the mound

Sometimes the Linfield baseball team doesn’t have to look far from home to find excellence.

This year, the Wildcats had an experienced pitching staff with five seniors. This next year, Linfield will lose those pitchers and require other pitchers to step up and fill the spots of the five seniors who are moving on from Linfield baseball. One pitcher who has shown a lot of promise and pitched a significant amount of innings this year is freshman Chris Haddeland.

“I love pretty much everything about baseball. I like being around my teammates, watching spectacular plays, and all the excitement that comes with playing the game,” Haddeland said. “I enjoy pitching because I get to be involved in every single play. There’s never a dull moment when you’re on the mound.”

Haddeland just moved a few blocks over when he left McMinnville High School. He played baseball there lettering in varsity baseball his junior and senior years.

“I grew up playing baseball here in McMinnville. I played all through elementary school and middle school, and kept playing at McMinnville High School,” Haddeland said.

His senior year, he was the Pacific Conference pitcher of the year and 6A first team all-state pitcher.

People just graduating from high school do not see much time on varsity their freshman year. Haddeland, however, has proven to be more than just a freshman sitting with the varsity squad.

Sometimes it can be difficult being a freshman amongst upper classmen, however, for Haddeland he fits right in.

“All of my teammates are very supportive and are encouraging when I pitch. I feel like I was received pretty well by the team. It’s a great group of guys on the baseball team and they made me feel included,” he said.

Throughout the year, the baseball team has had success. Hitting has been good, as of late, along with the ‘Cats pitching. This year, Haddeland has shown that he too can be counted on among the experienced veterans on the Wildcat roster to come into games either to start or to relieve.

Haddeland has started for the ‘Cats three times this year during the course of the season. His ERA is at 3.78 in 13 appearances on the mound, and is fourth in innings pitched for the Wildcats. He, along with senior Robert Vaughn, also has two saves on the year, tied for first in saves on the team.

Going over his freshman season, he feels that he did well pitching and looks forward to improving his change-up and working on “command of all my pitches,” he said.

The future looks promising for Haddeland, and with a chance of the team going to regionals, he has the chance of getting some post season experience under his belt.

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Carson Crepeaux/
Staff writer
Carson Crepeaux  can  be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

The what-ifs of Wildcat baseball

When looking back on the season for the Linfield baseball team, I was left with a bunch of what-ifs, wondering why it didn’t do as well as expected with the team that it had this year. Was it the coaching? Or, was it the attitude of the players?

The ‘Cats were ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation this year. This, however, did not last, and now the baseball team is no longer in the top 25 in the Division-III rankings. As I poured over the games I had watched, I tried to understand why they were unable to be the dominating team the polls had predicted they would be.

At the end of last season, the Wildcats had a team batting average of .315 with 44 games under their belt. This year, however, after 34 games, their team batting average was .285. Not only was team batting average lower, but its runs scored average was also lower. In 2011, their average runs per game was 6.95, but in 2012, this statistic dropped to 6.24. In 2011, the Wildcats never lost a best of three series, while in 2012, the ‘Cats lost the best of three series against Pacific University, George Fox University and Whitworth University.

Another scoring statistic that haunted the team was that if it was trailing this year beyond the fourth inning, it only won three of those games. So, before I blame it all on their batting, the pitching staff must bear some of the fault if the hitters averaged six runs a game. Opponents’ batting average against the pitching staff was .232 in 2012, while in 2011 it was .241.

The ERA of the Wildcat pitchers was 2.92 in 2012 and 2.81 in 2011. Although the pitchers’ ERA was 2.92, the defense in the field behind them faltered this year. The average runs per game against Linfield in 2012 was 3.76. In 2011, it was 3.63. Due to errors, Linfield, on average, gave up one more run a game in both years.

When breaking down the averages of the season, it’s hard to understand what went wrong for the Wildcats. They played similarly to 2011, but instead of taking first in the NWC with 20 wins and 4 losses, they ended in fifth place with 15 wins and nine losses.

The difference this year was that the ‘Cats didn’t score in games where they needed to score. Due to errors, pitching stayed in innings longer then they should have, and when they had to string hits together to score runs, they failed to do so. It wasn’t that they lacked talent or that the coaches ruined the games for them, instead, it was just unfortunate circumstances, such as great pitching and poor hitting or great hitting combined with poor pitching and fielding against teams they had to beat.

Perhaps the most shocking statistic from the two years was not what the team did, but the fan turnout.  In 2011, total home attendance was 2,435 averaging 202 people a game. In 2012, however, total home attendance dropped to an average of 97 people a game.

So, perhaps for success the ‘Cats just need a little more fan support to get them through next year.

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Carson Crepeaux/
Staff writer
Carson Crepeaux  can  be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Linfield splits series in California

It was the tale of two types of Linfield baseball in Orange, Calif., this weekend against the Chapman Panthers.

The first game of the series was a rough one for the Wildcats. Senior Robert Vaughn started the game for the ‘Cats and was poorly backed up by his infielders. After two errors that extended the second inning, Vaughn gave up a grand slam to Chapman. All six runs scored off Vaughn were unearned. Chapman’s players shut down the Linfield batters, striking out 16 and only giving up six hits.

The second game of the evening showed a more competitive Linfield team. Senior Ryan Larson pitched a gem, allowing only four hits and one earned run in nine innings. The ‘Cats scored early in the second and third innings to pick up a two-run lead which they held through the rest of the game. Linfield only racked up five hits throughout the game, but taking advantage of walks and errors early allowed them to win the game 2-1.

During the third game, errors again plagued the ‘Cats and cost them the game. Poor hitting and fielding caused Linfield to drop the ball and lose the third game of the series, 1-6. Sophomore Zach Brandon started the third game and pitched 4.1 innings until senior Spencer Crepeaux came in for relief. Crepeaux gave up two earned runs in 2.2 innings. Senior Casey Cameron came in to close the game, giving up one earned run.

“We had to forget about the last game and focus on the things we could control in the next” sophomore Kenny Johnson said.

Senior Zach Boskovich went 0-15 with eight strikeouts in the series, but his bat was not needed for the final game of the series, rather his arm. With the game tied at two to two in the bottom of the eighth, Chapman’s Connor Battaglia hit a single to left field. As Troy Newman tried to go home, Boskovich threw a strike to catcher junior Kyle Chamberlain, who tagged out Newman at the plate and ended the threat in the bottom of the eighth.

After eight innings of play, freshman Chris Haddeland was relieved by sophomore Justin Huckins, who ended up pitching the next five innings. Huckins gave up only one hit and two walks in five innings of play.

The Wildcats were under the clock however, as the 13th inning rolled around. They were in their final inning no matter what because of their need to leave soon because of their flight time. The ‘Cats didn’t disappoint. In the top of the 13th, sophomore Kramer Lindell came up to the plate with a runner at first and sent the ball sailing over the fence for a two run shot that gave the ‘Cats a two run lead headed into the bottom of the 13th. When asked how it felt to hit the home run that gave Linfield the lead, Lindell responded, “Good.” To finish the game, Huckins threw a fastball past Charlie Piro, who struck out looking to end any hope of a comeback by Chapman.

The next series the Wildcats play will be against George Fox University on April 21. The ‘Cats, currently third in the Northwest Conference, will look to further close the gap with Pacific and Whitworth.

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Carson Crepeau/
Staff writer
Carson Crepeaux can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Wildcats surpass Pac. Lutheran in NWC standings

Sophomore Nate McClellan hits a single during the sixth inning April 7 at Roy Helser field. Kate Straube/Staff photographer

Where will the Wildcats be at the end of the season? They still have a shot at first and their playoff hopes remain alive.

The ‘Cats baseball team traveled to Concordia this week to get in a game before facing second ranked Pacific Lutheran University.

The ‘Cats played 11 innings of competitive baseball until they finally were able to cross the plate one more time, in the top of the 11th, and then held on to win the game 3-2.

“The Concordia game gave us an opportunity to get everyone some live looks so we could come into the weekend looking sharp” senior Casey Cameron said.

And look sharp they did. The first game against the PLU Lutes showed some excellent pitching by senior Ryan Larson, who pitched seven innings while only allowing six hits and one earned run.

Senior Spencer Crepeaux came in to finish the game and pitched two scoreless innings with three strike outs.

The ‘Cats batters also showed their abilities by racking up 12 hits and 11 runs in the 11-1 route of the Lutes.

The second game of the series was also a successful outing for the ‘Cats. Senior Zach Manley pitched six innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs.

Senior Robert Vaughn came in for three innings, allowing only one hit, striking out four, recording his second save of the season.

Though the ‘Cats only put up six hits, they made the most out of them by scoring six runs throughout the game. Once again, strong pitching by  Linfield held the Lutes to only two runs. The ‘Cats won the game, 6-2.

The third game was back and forth, and the ‘Cats were down by one in the bottom of the sixth when senior Zach Boskovich stepped up to the plate.

Whispers among the crowd were hoping for a swing of the bat to tie up the game. Boskovich did just that. As soon as the bat made contact with the ball, it was obvious that the ball was going over the fence.

The following inning, off a single by junior Kyle Chamberlain, junior Jordan Harlow advanced from second to touch home plate, putting the ‘Cats up by one.

Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, they lost the lead in the following inning and were unable to score in the following innings, losing the final game of the series 5-6.

“Overall the weekend was very positive,” senior Jesse Boustead said. “We did a lot of things as a team that lead to some big wins. We battled through everything and played strong for all 27 innings. If we continue to do that we’ll be in good shape.”

The next games will be April 13 at Chapman University in southern California. The team will play four non-league games, looking to get a playoff bid.

Through a string of away games, the Wildcat’s next home game will be May 4 against Lewis-Clark State.

ing six hits and one earned run.

Senior Spencer Crepeaux came into finish the game and pitched two scoreless innings with three strike outs.

The ‘Cats batters also showed their abilities by racking up 12 hits and 11 runs in the 11-1 route of the Lutes.

The second game of the series was again a successful outing for the ‘Cats. Senior Zach Manley pitched six innings giving up four hits and two earned runs. Robert Vaughn came in for three innings allowing only one hit, struck four people out and got his second save of the season.

Though the ‘Cats only put up six hits they made the most out of them by scoring six runs throughout the game. Once again strong pitching by the Linfield pitchers held the Lutes to only two runs. ‘Cats won the game 6-2.

The third game was back and forth and when the ‘Cats were down by one in the bottom of the sixth when senior Zach Boskovich stepped up to the plate.

Quiet whispers among the crowd were hoping for a swing of the bat to tie up the game. Boskovich did just that. As soon as the ball made contact with the bat it was obvious that the ball was leaving the ball park.

The following inning off a single by junior Kyle Chamberlain Jordan Harlow advanced from second to home and tagged the upper hand corner of the plate blocked by the Lutes’ catcher to beat the throw and put the ‘Cats up by one.

Unfortunately for the ‘Cats they lost the lead in the following inning and were unable to score in the following innings. Losing the final game of the series 5-6.

“Overall the weekend was very positive,” senior Jesse Boustead said. “We did a lot of things as a team that lead to some big wins. We battled through everything and played strong for all 27 innings. If we continue to do that we’ll be in good shape.”

The next games will be at Chapman University in southern California. They will play four non-league games and look to further their cause at gaining a bid for playoffs.

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Carson Crepeaux/
Staff writer
Carson Crepeaux can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.