'There's always time to turn it around'

By The Beacon | April 17, 2014 12:25am
The team celebrates after a walk off single from shortstop Michael Lucarelli. The Pilots came back multiple times to beat USD 10-9 on Saturday.


By Maggie Hannon |

UP baseball has about a month left of conference play for the season and they have a lot of catching up to do. With a 9-4 loss in a non-conference game to Seattle U on Tuesday, the Pilots remain in last place in the WCC with a record of 2-13.

One of the main issues the team has had this season is giving up early runs to opposing teams and needing to play catch-up throughout the game. Although Assistant Coach Tucker Brack said the team never gives up and the players continue fighting through the early runs, he admits he does not want the team to get into this position in the first place.

“I think if we start competing we’re going to be fine but we got to come out and play 27 outs, not just the last six,” Brack said. “If we can do that, we’re just fine when we do that.”

Redshirt senior pitcher Colin Feldtman also thinks the team is able to get fired up after early runs, but he found that this progress should happen early in the game, rather than as a way to catch up.

“I think our biggest hindrance right now is being dialed and locked in from pitch one, inning one,” Feldtman said. “I know our guys have that fire, they have that intensity and they want to compete. I just think we need to do it for a complete game rather than just the latter end.”

Although they have had a rough season so far, senior outfielder Chet Thompson found the team’s strength is their speed on both offense and defense. He is optimistic that they will improve as the season winds down through an emphasis on hitting and trying to play an error-free defense.

“There’s always time to turn it around. It’s been a struggle in the beginning but that’s what’s good about baseball, you can turn a season around,” Thompson said.

One of the team’s best hitters this season is junior infielder Caleb Whalen who is batting .303 with 142 at bats. Before Tuesday’s game he had a 13-game hitting streak, but went 0-3 against Seattle. Junior outfielder Turner Gill is also getting on base, batting .264 with 144 at bats. Feldtman leads the team’s pitching with a 4.76 ERA. Senior pitcher Chad Kjemhus has been solid out of the bullpen with a 2.70 ERA in 26.2 innings pitched.

The team has 14 games left this season and has seven home games in a row starting on April 25 after their away series in Spokane against Gonzaga this weekend.