By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Sports: CWU baseball hopes to improve upon its best season in years

BY QUIN WALKER, Staff Reporter

The Central Washington baseball team has one thing on its mind: do better. Many of the returning players felt as if they were the best team in the league last year.

Baseball is a game where one tiny detail can mean the difference in the game. For the Wildcats, they hope the details swing in their direction this season. The Wildcats return 11 players from a team that finished 30-24 last season and had 19 conference wins.

The overlying theme of this season is to build off of the success the team had last year. The players and coaching staff believe that they can achieve the goals set out for this season.

“We want to be better than last year. Our goal is to not only win the conference title, but we want to host it this year. We fell a little short last year,” head coach Desi Storey said. “We want a regional spot.”

The team has shown steady improvement. Winning only 19 games in 2012, but 30 in 2013, which players credit to the hard work being put forth throughout the program.

“We wake up every morning at 6 a.m., conditioning two days a week. We have been working hard in the cages and pitchers have been throwing bullpens,” senior pitcher Skye Adams said.  “We have been getting strong. We feel like we are ready, and hopefully we can make it to regionals this year.”

Adams, an all-league starter, led the team in wins last season, going 6-2 with a 3.80 ERA. Pitching will be key in the success of the Wildcats. They return two senior leaders to the rotation, which looks to be top in the conference. Seniors Stuart Fewel and Skye Adams bolster a four-man rotation which also includes power arms Davis Engel and Brandon Williams whom are both juniors.

“Our pitching will keep us in games and our hitting will win us games,” Adams said.

Hitting will definitely be something to look at only because of what the Wildcats lost last season. Kyle Sani, who hit 18 home runs last season, ran out of eligibility, so it’s up to the depth of the Wildcats to make up for his run support. Another key loss has been the departure of  Great Northwest Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, Kramer Ferrell. Ferrell hit .352 last year and was key in the Wildcats’ success. With subtraction comes addition though, and transfer Josh Potter looks to be a vital part in the Wildcats’ order.

The Wildcat batting order won’t be without experience. They return six of their top 17 hitters from last year, and four hitters who hit over .300. The consistency throughout the lineup was something Storey keyed on when talking about this year’s group.

“In order to achieve these goals, we need to play as a team and have everyone do their roles. If we can do that then we have a chance to be where we want to be at the end of the season,” senior pitcher Stuart Fewel said.

Storey added, “I think we are better than last year. We have a chance to be more consistent, regardless of who is going to be in the lineup. Our team speed will be better, and I also think we are a better defensive team. We have a chance to be better … We had so many new faces last year  that we didn’t know what to expect and how good we could be. With so many guys back I think we will have a better idea of what we are capable of and what it’s going to take. With a little bit better talent and a little more knowledge of what we are capable of doing, I think we have a chance to go farther.”

A team that believes a GNAC title is attainable this season took on San Francisco State in a double header on Feb. 1 in San Francisco, splitting the two games, winning the second.

Potter went a combined 5-8 in the two games against San Francisco State, with two RBIs which earned him the GNAC baseball Player of the Week award in his first games with the Wildcats.

More to Discover