With three losses and one win against the College of Idaho, the Whitworth baseball team finished out its second tournament of the season on the road in Caldwell, Idaho. “As one might assume, we are never happy walking away with only one win on a weekend,” head baseball coach Dan Ramsay said. “But the preseason is really serving its purpose up to this point as we’re learning the things we need to work on moving forward to better prepare us for conference play.”
Day one resulted in a close game in which the Pirates fell one run short to the Coyotes, 6-5.
Hitting his first home run of the season, junior Joshua Davis put Whitworth on the board in the sixth inning.
“It felt good getting a good swing on the ball and hitting it hard,” Davis said. “Our energy was high. We really wanted to get a win to tie the series up but that didn’t happen; that’s baseball.”
With a successful play as a confidence booster, the Pirates began to battle the Coyotes by scoring four runs in the top of the eighth.
“When someone gets a good hit, the momentum we have just sparks,” Davis said. “When somebody gets a hit, no matter how many outs there are, it keeps everybody rolling.”
The Pirates, unable to pull out with a win, bounced back to defeat the Coyotes in the first game of their doubleheader on the second day of the tournament.
Junior starting pitcher Cory Mack had a first career win for the Pirates as he struck out five batters over the course of six innings.
“In the first three innings I had bases loaded with one out,” Mack said. “I ended up getting out of it with a strikeout and a groundout, so I would say damage control was my strategy.”
With pitching and the defense going in the Pirate’s favor, pressure was taken off of the hitters and they were able to control and win the second game, 6-3, Ramsay said.
“It was great to see our pitching staff make the adjustment of challenging hitters this weekend,” Ramsay said. “Our pitchers did a great job of making the proper adjustments and competing in the strike zone.”
In an unfortunate turn of events, the Pirates were unable to stop the Coyotes from taking two more wins.
“We need to take advantage of run-scoring situations and do a better job of putting the ball in play with two strikes moving forward,” Ramsay said. “We are a very talented group of players and I’m excited to see continual improvement from week to week. It will be great to get back on the field in southern California this weekend against a couple of Division III Regional opponents.”
The Pirates will travel to Whittier, Calif., where they will take on the Poets of Whittier College, Feb. 28-March 1.
Jordanne Perry Staff Writer
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