The baseball team hit the ground running for their 2014 season. The Boxer’s opened their season Feb. 22 in Texas going 3-2 against Schreiner College, Lewis and Clark College and the nationally ranked Texas Lutheran University.
Upon their return from Texas, opening conference against the number one nationally ranked team, Linfield College, challenged the baseball team. Following the Linfield series was the series against nationally ranked George Fox University.
The weekend against George Fox University saw three hard-nose games, all within three runs of each other, and one game that went into extra innings. While the Boxers lost by one run in the 11-inning game, sophomore Kyle Treadway hit the first homerun of the season.
The team secured its first conference win against Lewis and Clark. For the second time in the season, the team went into an extra innings game and came out with a win in the 17th inning. The Boxers finished up the George Fox series with a 12-2 win in the third game.
This year’s up-and-coming team is expected to be a drastic change from previous years. After graduating six seniors and losing more than a handful of players to transfers and some freshmen, the team has a new identity this season.
“I’ve been mentally and physically preparing for this upcoming season since I got here in fall,” said freshmen Josh Keithly. “I’m still getting used to all the practice and how fast paced it is.”
This year’s team consists of a majority of sophomores and juniors. The returners are ready to step up while the few seniors have the responsibility to mentor those with little college experience.
“As a senior, I have expectations for myself to be a leader for the team,” said senior Dan Jaffe. “To be someone the team can really look up to and have as support as well.”
Being a majorly new team this year, the team is having to work harder this season and stay focused in order to break their personal standard and live up to their own expectations.
“Losing a lot of talented seniors last year has the conference saying we will have a rebuilding year,” said junior Austin Gallagher. “I really think we are going to surprise a lot of people because we have been working so hard.”
The team plans to emphasize the small ball game this season. Their plan is to focus on the fundamentals of the game.
“Our coaches have been really placing a lot of emphasis on specific aspects we need to do in order to play consistent,” said Jaffe.
“We have the fire power, we just need to get the little things right.”
While the pre-season predicaments are not in favor of the Pacific Baseball Team, perseverance and team comradery are.
“We want to surprise people this year, the conference teams are underestimating us and that’s what we want them to do,” Gallagher said. “they only know what we lost and not what we brought back. We want to bring back another conference title and show that Pacific Baseball is here to stay and isn’t going anywhere.”
The team will travel to California to play La Verne College March 23 and will return to Forest Grove to play Corban College at home March 26.