The Boxer baseball team has secured a spot in the conference tournament after beating Whitman University 9-2 and 2-1 on April 16.
The team finished with a 14 and 10 conference record that has Pacific in a three way tie with Linfield University and George Fox University.
The Boxers face off against the top seed Whitworth University April 22 who the Boxers faced three times during conference play and managed to win one game.
“We only got one win but we had leads in both the games that we lost,” head coach Brain Billings said.
The Boxers lost the first game 3-2 against the Pirates but we were up 2 to 0 in the 8th inning, then gave up 3 runs in the top of the ninth inning. In game three the Boxers squandered a 6-1 lead.
“Whitworth has done a good job of coming back and has come back 15 times this year,” Billings said. “Those were the first two games of the season that we had a lead but ended up losing the game.”
Despite the two losses, the Boxers are confident they can come out victorious when they head up to Spokane on Friday.
“If we do get a lead, we need to keep the pressure on them. Keep scoring runs, pitch and play good defense,” Billings said. “We didn’t know what to expect from Whitworth last time we played them, but now we do and every single one of our guys believes that we can win that game.”
Throughout the season the baseball team had a few tough losses, but have also won a lot of tough games. Coach Billings has been impressed by the continuous improvement the team has made as this season.
The coaching staff and players all believe that it’s not how you start, it is how you finish.
“It’s been a good year so far, and the program is definitely improving,” Billings said. “We want to grow and learn from our mistakes and improve as the season goes on.”
Senior Walker Olis has had a record breaking season and now holds the Boxer single season record in stolen bases with 20, walks with 39 and runs scored with a total of 51.
Another Boxer writing his name in the record books is senior Kurtis Kloke who now holds the school record for most runs batted in with 52.
This breaks the previous mark of 49 set by Matt Lengwenus in 2001.
Coach Billings has been impressed by the way his team has conducted themselves on and off the field this season.
“Our overall attitude and work ethic has been great,” Billings said. “We have a real selfless group, who doesn’t really care who gets the credit. It’s all about the team and it has been fun to coach guys like that.”