by Sasha Siclait
The Whitworth baseball team took home three wins over the weekend in Pasco, Wash. after beating the Lewis & Clark Pioneers 12-5, Willamette Bearcats 8-7 and Puget Sound Loggers 5-3 and finishing off its weekend with a tough loss against Corban Warriors 5-2. The teams were competing in the Swing into Spring Classic.
After being down by one in the first inning during Friday evening’s game against Lewis & Clark, the Bucs fought back later in the game.
“We started off a little rusty in the first inning but were able to pick up the pace and responded very well,” sophomore catcher Josh Davis said.
Although the Whitworth’s defense had two errors, the Bucs were able to execute through offense and consistently score runs in all but two innings. Solid pitching by junior Jason Renner led the Bucs to a 12-5 win over the Pioneers.
A rough start against Willamette Saturday evening left Whitworth down by three runs going into the top of the second inning.
“ We’ve seen a lot of errors and mental mishaps in these first few games,” sophomore center fielder Eric Nikssarian said.
The Bucs didn’t ease up though with a difficult first and second inning, and came back with more intensity than earlier in the game.
“I tell the boys that when you get punched in the face to get up and punch them right back,” Whitworth head coach Dan Ramsay said.
That is exactly what the Bucs did, scoring six runs by the bottom of the second inning including two runs batted in by Nikssarian putting the Bucs back on top.
On the mound, sophomore Spencer Ansett and sophomore Dan Scheibe combined for a total of eight strikeouts.
Inconsistency was a trend for the Pirates throughout the weekend with errors on defense as the team was getting used to being back outside on the field.
It was a slow start during Sunday’s game against Puget Sound with no hits in the first inning for either team, but Whitworth was able to rally with two runs in the second inning with a run batted in by freshman third baseman Nathan Jewett and freshman right fielder Blake Thoren. With an error for the Bucs, Puget Sound was able to score a run in the sixth inning.
It was a late comeback for the Pirate but a single by freshman shortstop Jeremy Druffel rounded up two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning putting the Pirates on top with a win.
During the final game of the weekend, Whitworth lost 5-2 against Corban Sunday afternoon. Corban took the lead from the beginning scoring three runs in the top of the first inning.
Whitworth followed up with one hit and one error in the next two innings. By the time the Bucs began to rally at the end of the game it was not enough to put them on top and Corban walked away with a win on Sunday.
Davis was injured Sunday when a Warrior player slid into his knee during a play at the plate while catching and Nikssarian unable to play Sunday because of a torn hamstring. According to Davis, the recent injuries haven’t deterred the Bucs from a positive attitude for the rest of the season due to the depth the team has in numbers.
After the loss on Sunday, Nikssarian noted the importance of the team attitude heading into games.
“There is a lot of potential and opportunity to where our team can go, but we can’t just go into games expecting to win,” Nikssarian said.
The Pirates are ranked fifth in the nation right now and play their next game on March 2 in Tyler, Texas.
Contact Sasha Siclait at email@example.com