Baseball team wins two games over break

Rachel Hoar

Jason Sease, '10, is batting .274 for the Whitman baseball team while coming into pitch occasionally this season. Credit: Zipparo.
Jason Sease, '10, is batting .274 for the Whitman baseball team while coming into pitch occasionally this season. Credit: Zipparo.

The baseball team’s spring break games displayed success unseen in recent years.

The team won two out of the eleven games they played over break. They played three series ­ ­ ­: weekends which include two nine-inning games each Saturday and two seven-inning games each Sunday: against conference opponents Pacific University, Lewis and Clark and Willamette.

“I thought overall we played really well,” said head coach Casey Powell. “Our bats picked up a lot, and pitching’s getting better too.”

The team won one game against Pacific, and one against Lewis and Clark. Pete Stadmeyer threw a two-run shutout against Pacific, which resulted in a 10-0 win.

“The weekend against Pacific was the best four-game series that we’ve played,” said Powell, reflecting on the team’s recent success.

Despite the few wins, the team’s win-loss record has improved since last year. The team lost 33 games in a row and only won four games total last season.

“We have definitely taken a lot of good strides,” said junior pitcher Blaine Mercado. “A lot of the games we were losing are close now, which is a lot better than being blown out.”

Other factors that the scoreboard doesn’t necessarily reflect have improved as well.

“The team’s chemistry is much better this year,” said assistant coach Sean Kinney. “Everyone’s pushing each other to get better.”

While this year’s small roster has fostered camaraderie, it also means that the individual talents of each player must be utilized in order to benefit the entire team.

“We’ve had to rely on multiple players playing multiple different positions,” said Kinney. “All the guys have really stepped it up.”

The Sherwood renovations and inclement weather have hindered recent practices and even postponed scheduled games. The team mostly practices indoors and uses facilities such as the batting cages at Walla Walla Community College.

In addition to overcoming facility difficulties, the Missionaries have also aimed to overcome some of the struggles apparent in their games over break.

“Coach Powell gave us a goal to never get swept in a series,” said Mercado. “If we can do the little things right, we can definitely get two wins a weekend.”

“[The team] can compete in every game,” said Powell. “We’re serious about playing against conference opponents whether they’re at the top or not.”

The Missionaries still have to play tough teams like George Fox and Pacific Lutheran, but are confident that they can do well. The team has experienced few injuries, improved their fundamentals, reduced walks, and fostered incoming talent which bodes well for their future success.