CWU Baseball prepares for final stages of 2023 season


Austin Ohland celebrating on base Photo courtesy of Jacob Thompson: Thompson Sports Media

Ryan Gildersleeve, Staff Reporter

The CWU Baseball team has struggled early in their 2023 season, but after a sweep of Montana State-Billings (MSUB) over the April 1 weekend, the team appears ready to ride their newfound momentum into the latter half of the season. 

The Wildcats currently sit at a record of 14-22 on the year, with their wins being evenly split at six in both home matchups as well as away bouts. Prior to the beginning of the ongoing homestand, the Wildcats had dropped seven of their previous 10 matchups and had only secured two home victories on the year. 

Heading into the homestand, the Wildcats were in search of a much needed string of wins. The beginning of this homestand would end up proving well for the Wildcats as they would not only secure the sweep over MSUB, but also give themselves a boost of momentum heading into the final stages of their season. 

Before returning to Ellensburg to begin the homestand, the team had only played six games at home as opposed to their 21 games played on the road. Wildcat Starting Pitcher Brayde Hirai had a bit to say regarding the importance of playing at home. 

“Being able to prepare and sleep in your own bed every week definitely adds a lot of value,” Hirai said. “The atmosphere of protecting the house brings a lot of comradery within the team.” 

After the first leg of the homestand, consistency was on the mind of Head Coach Desi Storey.

“We started to show signs of being fairly consistent last weekend, which is huge,” Storey said. “This group’s working hard, they understand the grind of a 50 game season and continuing to improve day-to-day, game-to-game.” 

Austin Ohland won Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) player of the week honors for his contributions to the sweep of MSUB, but still has his head set on team success moving forward after a weekend where he hit successfully in eight of his seventeen at-bats and drove in seven RBI’s. 

“We just want to keep rolling, and keep doing what we were able to accomplish last weekend,” Ohland said. “Nobody’s giving up whatsoever, no matter where we are, we’re going out and playing, trying to beat somebody.” 

Ohland commented on the team’s motivation and desire to perform heading toward the end of their year. 

“There’s definitely a motivation there to go win and get to the GNAC’s,” Ohland said. “As far as this year, we had a bit of a slow start, we’ve had a couple of things stacked against us in the offseason and none of us are letting that effect us. We’re just trying to push through and really show that it doesn’t matter what happens, it’s just what you do down the stretch.” 

With motivation at a high point for the Wildcats, every game to end the season will be a must-win for the team. They currently hold the 3rd seed in the GNAC and are slated to face Eastern Oregon University on April 11 at home in their next matchup.