Reid Rasmussen & the Wildcat baseball team push toward end of season


Reid Rasmussen on the mound, Photo by Jacob Thompson

Charis Jones and Ryan Gildersleeve

The Wildcats traveled to Monmouth, Oregon on the weekend of April 15 where they fell short to the Western Oregon University (WOU) Wolves in each match of their four-game series. 

These games held a lot of importance, given that CWU is currently vying for a spot in the playoffs that will commence on May 11. Only the top three teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) will be awarded a spot and the Wildcats were already two games behind the Wolves before the series took place. The repercussions of these defeats on the team’s playoff chances remain uncertain at this time.

“I think that if we had executed plays on defense, that definitely would’ve helped us a lot,” senior infielder Trevor Tripoli said. “There were a lot of errors made and they just capitalized on our mistakes.”

Despite the final results of the games, sophomore catcher Travis Helm complimented the team’s ability to battle during their at-bats, even when they were down in the count. 

“We did a great job this past weekend of fighting with two strikes,” Helm said. “We didn’t have a lot of guys go down without at least putting it in play.” 

Tripoli was able to highlight a couple of positive aspects of the weekend’s performance as well.

“We were mentally checked in throughout the weekend [and] we executed bunts on offense as well,” Tripoli said. 

While CWU may not have gotten the preferred outcome out of this four-game series, as sophomore pitcher Ryan Arrendondo said, “It’s baseball. Things happen. The only thing to do now is look forward and respond the best way we know how.”

To stay optimistic and focused in the face of defeat, Helm turns to his teammates for support and encouragement, given the tightness of the group.

“I lean on my teammates to help me get through the losses and setbacks,” Helm said. “We’re all focused on the same goal and it’s hard to not be positive around this group of guys.”

Amongst the CWU baseball team’s ranks are many players with differing stories of their rise in the sport, as well as their path to CWU. This is no different for the GNAC player of the week, Reid Rasmussen. 

Rasmussen has been with the Wildcat baseball team since 2021, and since joining the team he’s appeared 23 times on the mound, starting in 18 of those appearances and racking up 53 strikeouts along the way.

Before making his way to CWU, Rasmussen played ball at Selah High School where he was a contributing part of two 2A state championship runs. Rasmussen looks back fondly upon his time with Selah, adding that his tenure with the high school taught him a lot about himself.

“I think my freshman year in high school when we won a state title at Selah just truly put into perspective what it takes to be a winner,” Rasmussen said.

Since becoming a more frequent addition to the Wildcat starting unit, Rasmussen has been able to create opportunities and moments that he holds highly among other accomplishments.

“Early this year when I went a complete game against Western Oregon, it just kind of showed the type of player I was and the adversity I’ve overcome… I think those two pinpoints have shaped who I am and what I’ve become in a way,” Rasmussen said.

With every athlete, driving motivations can be observed and oftentimes picked up on by many, but with a player like Rasmussen, he prefers to let his intensity do the job for him. 

“You have to be the most fierce competitor you can be in any collegiate sport you want to do, it’s very hard to be a collegiate athlete and I’m a huge competitor, I hate losing at anything I do,” Rasmussen said. “Without my lord and savior I wouldn’t be where I am.” 

Rasmussen has been steadily improving throughout the season, and was recently awarded the GNAC player of the week award. Above winning the award, this hard earned title has proven a bit to Rasmussen about himself. 

“I’ll tell you what, when I got the phone call from Coach Storey that Monday, it was a pretty relieving feeling because I know I’ve been working hard since last year when I got injured and just knowing that I’m capable of doing that and I’ve got a great team,” Rasmussen said. “it was almost like ‘wow I’ve worked hard and it’s finally showing and people are seeing it which is a great thing.” 

This CWU baseball team is one that has shown time and time again their perseverance, battling back from a 3-10 record and actively fighting for a spot in the GNAC playoffs, currently sitting at 15-26 and holding the 4th spot in their conference. 

The season is coming closer and closer to its end, and there’s seemingly only one thing on the mind of our CWU baseball players: a GNAC championship. This is no different for Rasmussen, as the idea of a conference title has been lingering amongst himself and his teammates for awhile.

“Obviously you want a GNAC championship right, you wanna hold a ring at the end of the season. That’s what we strive for and that’s what we work hard for, ever since we had that first meeting in the fall we’ve wanted that championship,” Rasmussen said. 

Rasmussen went further than just stating his want to win a GNAC title, endorsing his team as they prepare for the end-of-season push.

“We have the talent to do it,” Rasmussen said. “I think we’re one of the most talented teams in the GNAC and if we can play consistent baseball, we can be right there with the best teams in the west region. Our end goal is to win a GNAC championship every year, that’s what we come in wanting to do.” 

To improve their chances of making it to the playoffs, the Wildcats plan to refine their skills and adhere to their established strategy. 

As Arrendondo explained, it will be “business as usual. There are always things to work on and sharpen up and we will continue to do that. But with that, staying in our game plan and executing the little things is what wins you ball games.”

Looking ahead, CWU’s next face-off will take place on Wednesday, Apr. 26 at the CWU Baseball Field in Ellensburg against the Lewis-Clark State College Warriors. This will be a significant opportunity for the team to regroup and put their best foot forward as they continue to fight for a spot in the playoffs.