by Craig Russell | Staff Writer
Whitworth Baseball has a new coach this season. This past January, coach Dan Ramsey, who has been head coach for the last nine years, left to become the manager of the Twins Rookie Ball affiliate in the Gulf Coast League. Taking his place is coach CJ Perry, former pitching coach. Perry intends on continuing this role, acting as the head coach permanently.
Along with a new coach, the players have changed too.
“Last year, we graduated 11 players all of whom had significant roles on the team in regards to playing time. We brought in six freshman and three transfers to help fill that void,” Perry said.
The Pirates are ranked second in the preseason poll at 55 points, just seven points behind Linfield. These points are determined from a survey of the coaches in the conference. Last year, Whitworth won only two out of six games against Linfield, who went on to win the 2017 conference and take the title from the Pirates, who won in 2016.
A recurring challenge for the team has been snow and ice.
“We are a team that likes to run a lot of high tempo and intense practices that includes competition drills and scrimmages at least twice a week. Having snow and ice on the field greatly limits our space and our ability to do that” Perry said. Last year the team also had a problem with the snow lasting into March and leaving the field unusable.
Snow affects not only practice, but games too. Whitworth and Whitman were supposed to face off at Merkel field on Feb. 24 and 25, but snowfall caused the game to be canceled.
As for the All-NWC teams, last year Whitworth had three players on the two teams. First baseman, Matthew Nelson, a senior that is now graduated, made team one. Joel Condreay, ‘18, and Matthew Young, ‘20, made team two for shortstop and starting pitcher respectively.
The Pirates play next home at Merkel Field on Saturday March 11 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and then on Sunday March 12 at noon.