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

A swing and a miss for CWU baseball

CWU baseball breaks apart before the start of their first match. Courtesy Jacob Thompson/Thompson Sports Media

The CWU men’s baseball season is officially underway as they traveled to Bellingham, Washington where they had an unfortunate start to the season. On Saturday, Feb. 3 they competed in a double-header against the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds and fell short in both matches.

The Wildcats were originally set to start their season on Thursday, Feb. 1 against Concordia University Irvine in California but this was delayed as the game was canceled due to weather conditions.The team will now be traveling to California today, Thursday, Feb. 9 for a double-header against the Cal State San Bernardino Yotes.

“We’re not going to California right away with the cancellation of the games,” senior pitcher Alex Brady said. “But when we went to California last year, we didn’t start as hot. I think our goal is to start a little bit harder this year, and kind of come together a little bit quicker than we did last year. Getting off to a good start is a good momentum boost for us and I think we’re ready to do that.”  

The team has been playing mostly indoors for the past two seasons; last season they practiced in a gym for four weeks before they were able to touch an outdoor field.

“We’re inside not even touching the baseball field,” senior pitcher Reid Rasmussen said. “So the grit that we had to continue to do the same thing over and over for four weeks shows that we have a lot to prove. I think that’s what people don’t think about.” Seeing that Ellensburg, Washington is often faced with adversarial weather conditions that limit the team’s capacity to train, they’ve had to adapt in order to stay afloat.

Reid Rasmussen on the mound. Courtesy Jacob Thompson/Thompson Sports Media

The team also suffered heavy losses in the offseason as they are short almost a dozen players from last year. “We [have] got to keep everyone healthy, we don’t have a lot of numbers, so we [have] got to stay healthy in that aspect that I can’t lose any players,” head baseball coach Desi Storey said.

Despite these factors outside of their control, the Wildcats’ goal this season is to make it to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament and win it. Despite their struggles last season, CWU hopes to have a more successful campaign.

CWU was ranked third place in the GNAC preseason coaches poll. This had no effect on Rasmussen, “It doesn’t matter. May is what matters. [It] doesn’t matter what people think now, it matters how we’re playing them in May and when we want to put a ring on our finger.” Rasmussen stated. 

While Western Oregon University clinched first place in the same poll, Storey shared Rasmussen’s tunnel vision approach. “I don’t take much shock in the preseason polls to be honest,” Storey said. “It’s based on past history, [and] has nothing to do with where we are now … Our rivalry goes back 20 plus years, we’re similar schools, both state schools, so it’s a good rivalry.” 

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