CWU relievers find success

Arber Demiri

Arber Demiri

Simo Rul, Staff Reporter

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A big part of the CWU Wildcats baseball team’s ’ success has been a result of the  relievers coming out of the bullpen. Right-handed pitchers Christopher Dalto and Kyle Thompson, juniors at CWU have created  a spark.

The relievers have exceeded Dalto’s expectations.

“Honestly, I did but I didn’t think [the bullpen would] be that strong,” Dalto said. “We have a lot of young guys. We have 16 freshmen on this team, and a lot of ‘[th]em are pitchers.”

Dalto said that they have developed a lot as the season has gone on.

The relievers have been key in preserving and finishing games strong throughout the season. “I mean some of our starters, sometimes they could finish it up, but a lot of the times we rely on our bullpen,” Dalto said. “So we need our set-up guys to come in and then our closers to come in and closedown [the game].”

Dalto has been essential on both sides of the ball with  an ERA of 3.65, and a batting average of .319 with two home-runs and 17 runs batted in.

“I think I gotta stay where I’m at right now, gotta keep doing what I’m doing. I think I’m helping the team out a lot both ways,” Dalto said.

There are a lot of underclassmen on this team, but they have done well in relieving the starters.

“I had high hopes for us, but we had a pretty young staff coming out of the [bull]pen,” Thompson said. “They exceeded my expectations, and a lot of other people’s.”

Thompson said the relievers are important every game. Starters do good by pitching so many innings, but the relievers are needed to hold and close games out.

One of the biggest positives is to keep this level of play from game to game.

“That’s the goal right there, is consistency. You have to be consistent to be a reliever,” Thompson said. “You can give up here and there as a starter, but as a reliever you gotta come in and shut [th]em down.”

Thompson has an ERA of 3.52, but his main focus isn’t his stats.

“Stats are nice. Stats isn’t like the huge thing like I have to have this ERA or it has to be that,” Thompson said. “I think just going out there, and knowing what your job is and just having the confidence that you prepared for that job, and it takes care of itself, and I think stats reflect that.”

Pitching coach Kellen Camus had positive thoughts about the relievers going into the year.

“I knew that to win games you gotta have a good, strong backend. I knew coming into the season that would be probably one of our strengths,” Camus said.

Camus has all the belief in his pitching staff.

“It’s nice to go to anyone at any moment you have an opportunity to bring into the game, and tell them they are the one guy, they’re my number one on the mound,” Camus said. “Doesn’t matter what they’re on the depth chart, but when they’re on the mound they are the number one. It’s good to rely on guys.”

Going forward, improving each time the team gets out on the field is important.

“Staying consistent throughout the year, and then finishing strong, not just sitting back on the beginning success, but building and keep getting better each week until the GNAC tournament,” Camus said.

The one positive that has been big is how the guys bounce back from games where they didn’t pitch as well as they wanted to.

“The biggest part is when they fail, is how they comeback,” Camus said. “It’s easy to have success, and keep going on success. Once you get to the point where you have a little failure, how are you going to react? How are you going to get back to being consistent and being good on the mound?”

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CWU relievers find success