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

Central baseball aims for a championship series

By DANIEL SOLTERO, staff reporter

The Wildcats were up to bat in the bottom of the 7th with a 3-2 count, bases loaded and two outs.

The batter stepped up to the plate anticipating a fastball and looked straight into the pitcher’s eyes. The pitcher, solely focusing on the next pitch, took the catcher’s sign and nods.

A curveball is thrown, right down the middle. The batter didn’t expect it, the coach didn’t expect it, no one expected it.

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Central Washington University baseball has been like this all season, with a winning record for the first time in five years.

Nobody expected the team to make such a dramatic turnaround.

The Wildcats have maintained a tie for first-place with Western Oregon in The Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings.

The Saints were swept in their last visit to Ellensburg, dropping four games to the Wildcats.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Davis Engel reflected on being a part of a changing team and how much things have changed in the last couple of years.

“It’s remarkable,” Engel said. “Seeing the mentality we had in the fall and bringing that same mindset into our season has made a big difference on our game play and our record shows it.”

If the Wildcats can put their best foot forward, then the championship series against Western Oregon mat be in their future.

The Wildcats look to continue their success on the road when they travel to Lacey this weekend to take on Saint Martin’s, as they return to GNAC play after taking three out of four games against Oregon Tech.

The Wildcats (23-15, 14-6 GNAC) are looking to finish the year strong. They play all league games for the rest of the season and look to continue their recent string of success against the Saints.

Central is coming into the series winning six of its last eight games at home. The Wildcats lead the GNAC in both batting average (.316) and earned run average (4.01), something that hasn’t been seen in recent years.

Head coach Desi Storey is impressed with how the team has handled itself, and the success that has come along with it.

“Being here as long as I have, it’s frustrating going through a drought like that,” Storey said. “But it feels good being back on the winning track and seeing my players perform well.”

Junior right-handed pitcher Jeff Gonzalez reminded his teammates to take it series by series and to bring their A game to every practice from here on out.

“Practice develops confidence, which then reflects how you play,” Gonzalez said. “We have been playing like that all year and don’t intend on stopping now.”

The Wildcats will play two doubleheaders on April 20 and 21. First pitch will be thrown at 1 p.m. on Saturday while games on Sunday are scheduled to start at noon.

 

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