Boxer baseball’s eleven-game winning streak
The pressure of winning back-to-back conference championships can be a lot for some teams, but Boxer baseball wears it like a badge of honor. After two successful campaigns, Pacific has yet to back down. Even after a significant loss of seniors after last season, with a 52-man roster, the team was able to bounce back fast.
Despite dropping their first league series against Willamette, the Boxers did not fret. The following weekend they took on second-ranked Puget Sound Loggers and swept the series to take back the league’s top spot—and ever since, the Boxers have been on a tear, including bulldozing through an eleven-league game win streak before falling short to Corban University in a nonconference game.
Last season only four of the starting lineup’s players saw action as starters. This made room in the roster for performers with and without previous involvement in the program’s success. Second-year squad member Patrick Muskat thinks this is the reason for the team’s momentum.
“I think the season is going very well,” explained Muskat. “We have a ton of depth in our pitching, and our team focuses on a ‘pass the baton’ mentality. The next guy up is always ready. The energy in the locker room is really good. Everybody is friends and wants to see the person next to them succeed. We all have the same agenda for the team to win.”
With a winning mentality in the player’s mind, the team knows what is at stake.
Ayden Ruminski, a transfer and a first-year player for the Boxers, has yet to have the feeling of winning the Northwest Conference. But, coming into a successful program, he knew it was the season’s goal.
“I was not on the team last year because I transferred in, which gives me a different perspective than the guys who have been here,” explained Ruminski. “When they talk about back-to-back, I have not been a part of it. I think what drives me is that I have not had a taste of that. I hear everyone talking about how great it is, and I want to be a part of that.”
Regarding the batting average, Boxer Baseball occupies the top four positions in the NWC. CJ Colyer has been on fire all season, slugging .863 with nine home runs and 29 RBI. Colyer is batting .438, one of the four Boxer baseball players batting above .400. Colyer is a well-rounded player and is a solid first baseman and throwing out runners at home plate when playing right field. Colyer is knocking on the door for the most home runs in a season, the previous record being 15.
Even with a strong offense, the pitching staff is equally important and relevant for a team’s success. The Boxer pitching staff led the conference with a combined 3.73 ERA through 176.0 innings. In those 176 innings, only 73 earned runs have been allowed by this dominant rotation of guys. Opponents are batting a mere .233. Cayden Okada (sophomore) is just one of the prominent names causing a sense of fear among competitors. Okada has 31 strikeouts in 25.2 innings pitched and is holding his batters to a .176 average.
With three more conference series coming up, the Boxers must stay locked in to finish the season and work towards their goal of a third straight Northwest Conference title. Even national college baseball polls have taken notice of the eleven-game winning streak by the Boxer baseball team, which has everyone talking. — Avari Schumacher