Baseball heads out to California
By Peter Melling /// Sports Editor
The boys are back! The LC Baseball team has returned to the diamond and they now look to head on their first big road trip of the season, an excursion to Redding, California to face the Simpson University Redhawks. What are the players looking forward to in the trip, and how will it shape the course of their season?
Team bonding is one of the primary goals of these big road trips. In the words of right-hand pitcher John “The Truth” Trupin (’16), “These trips are always a lot of fun and help you get to know your teammates better, which always directly translates to better performance on the field. There’s nothing like an 8 hour bus ride to help you grow as a team.”
This trip also offers up an opportunity for the players to get back in gear after the long offseason and early shakiness. The Pioneers have gone 1-7 since the season started, going 0-2 against Corban University, 0-3 against Willamette University and 1-2 against University of Puget Sound. Through the first eight games, the team’s earned run average is 6.85, opponent batting average is .346, and on-base percentage is .329. Heading off to California for a short road trip will help to get the team back on the rails, as Trupin said, “We have a lot of young players and players that are coming off injury that we need to get in rhythm as we get into the conference season, so having this trip gives our team a lot of opportunities to establish ourselves for the season.”
While this road trip (and the upcoming road trip to Tucson, Arizona during Spring Break) will help the team’s development, another factor will be the ten seniors, more than there have been in the past two years (both squads which had only one senior). An experienced presence will aid the team throughout the maturation process for the freshman. When asked about the increased presence of seniors and third-years on the team, Trupin said, “I will say that, this being the first season that I’ve been on the team in which we have had more than one senior, the difference is palpable. The responsibility is on us, both to lead well and teach the younger players, and to play to the best of our ability to support the seniors who have put so much into this program.”
The team will head to Simpson University from February 27 to March 1, for four games against the Redhawks (3-12). They will return to the Northwest with a series against Linfield University on March 7 and 8. Their next home series will be against the Pacific University Boxers on March 14 and 15.