The Pioneers come back from a tough start to the season and win the series against their crosstown rivals
As the occasional ray of sun cuts through the Portland fog on Palatine Hill, the Pioneer baseball team started their season amidst rain delays and cancelled games. As the Pioneers took the field once again, the team has had a tough start to the season, losing their first three games of the season against Whitworth, Willamette and Puget Sound. The team got shut out in their first two games, losing to Whitworth 4-0 and Willamette 9-0. The team’s nine runs this season came against against Puget Sound on Feb. 12, but to no avail, as the Loggers edged them with a final score of 10-9.
Akira Abderrahman ’17, the designated hitter for the Pioneers, said “[The team] just didn’t play good baseball against Willamette,” he said. “They are on our level, talent wise, and just string together clutch hits.”
When asked about the close game against Puget Sound, Abderrahman said, “Our bats came alive and I think it pointed us in the right direction for development.”
The development and practice worked. In their first home series, LC’s offense blossomed and bashed the Bruins for 29 runs off of 43 hits over the course of three games. The Pioneers took the best of three series with George Fox with two wins on Sunday, Feb. 19. In the second game of the series, the team was lead by Connor Sick and Tommy Massari who batted in 3 RBI’s each. Andrew Yarak ’20 pitched 4.2 innings in relief and struck out three on his way to earning the win for the Pioneers.
“I cannot remember any team in recent LC baseball history that has started the season looking so promising. The bats were on fire and the pitchers were staying competitive and keeping us in games,” Abderrahman ’17 said.
This fall, the Pioneers’ recruiting efforts lead to five new rookies joining the team.
“They have created more depth at every position,” said Abderrahman ’17. “If a guy is struggling, we now have the option to put in a really talented younger guy in his spot.”
As the season goes on, the Pioneers will look to their young bench in order to keep their team healthy.
Here are the OPENING DAY starters
Catcher- Cooper Larson
First base – Nick Lockwood
Second base – Connor Sick
Third base – Tommy Massari
Shortstop- Jake Burton
Left field – Matt Donovan
Center field – Ben Beck
Right field – Sean Shepard
Designated Hitter – Akira Abderrahman
Pitcher – Drake Gilliland