Looking back and to the future

Nolan Millliman looks back on freshman season; future leadership role on baseball team

Nolan Milliman in his warm-ups before a game

Nolan Milliman in his warm-ups before a game

Isaac Hinson, Staff Reporter

The baseball team saw one of their freshman pitchers make an impact down the stretch. While Nolan Milliman got off to a slow start in the first half of the season, his improvement in the second half showed what he can accomplish during the rest of his time at CWU. 

In the 2021-22 season, Milliman pitched a total of 37.1 innings, allowing 42 hits and 29 runs across those games. Milliman turned up his production in the second half of the season, with 31 of his 42 strikeouts coming in the last seven of his 13 pitched games. 

Milliman pitched 10 innings across the last two games of the season, logging 14 strikeouts, 13 hits and five runs. The Wildcats also logged a win during this stretch. 

The right-handed pitcher from Yorba Linda, California cites his knack for baseball from his family. 

“Growing up I played baseball and basketball,” Milliman said. “Baseball is more in my family’s blood and I felt like I was always better at baseball then I was at basketball.” 

While attending Esperanza High School in Anaheim, California, Milliman won the Offensive MVP Award his freshman year, as well as the coaches award from his coaching staff. 

“In high school I played other positions,” Milliman said. “Pitching was just what I was best at and so I stuck with it in college.” 

Milliman said while he did well in some of his outings this season, he felt comfortable toward the end of the year. 

“I had some really good outings and some not-so-great outings,” Milliman said. “As a freshman, I feel like I did pretty good. I feel like I found myself more calm and trusting in myself more as the season went on.”

One of the “not-so-great outings” mentioned occurred in Monmouth, Oregon against Western Oregon University, where Milliman got one hitter out and allowed two hits, two walks and four runs in a 8-2 loss for the Wildcats. 

This season, the Wildcats went 14-35, but in games where Milliman pitched more than 3 innings, they had a record of 2-4. The statistically best game of Milliman’s career came in the second to last game of the season, where Milliman threw 7 innings with 8 strikeouts and 9 hits, but only 1 run. 

“Our team didn’t do as good as expected,” Milliman said. “That put a bad taste in our mouths. It’s really motivating for me to work harder in the offseason, and now I know what things I need to work on for next year.”

Milliman said he feels he has big shoes to step into next season after his freshman campaign. 

“I definitely feel like there’s a spot for me to step into a leadership role, especially to help the freshman next year, trying to get them comfortable with college and the team,” Milliman said.