Baseball Regionals Cut Short

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The Wildcats traveled to Texas for the NCAA Regional Baseball Tournament. Facing the Centenary Gents, the ’Cats found themselves in a place forcing them to claw their way back into the bracket. It resulted in a 12-1 loss and Linfield would once again would be crawling back up through the loser’s bracket.

“The games obviously did not go as we had planned,” Carter Buuck, ‘18, said. “We played some very talented teams, but we did not play as well as we were capable of. Outside of regionals, there were only positives from our season.”

“I think playing against other league champions and seeing how high the level of competition is once we were in the playoffs was the most exciting part,” Ryan Pladson, ’18, said. “Every game we saw a team’s best pitcher and best lineup so that was exciting to see everyone’s best.”

Riley Newman, ‘17, pitched seven innings and allowed 11 hits and four strikeouts. Newman fell 9-3 on the season. Taylor Boos, ‘18, took over and gave the Gents four more runs.

In double-elimination fashion, Linfield would be facing Rhodes Lynx and took the loss 11-7 and eliminated from the tournament.

In the second inning, the Wildcats took a lead early scoring three runs. Pitcher Cason Cunningham, ‘19, started out well. Through three innings, he allowed only one hit and no runs until the fourth inning where he allowed two runs. Cal Neely, ‘18, struggled in relief of Cunningham.

The ’Cats battled from the fourth inning on, and whenever they scored, the Lynx answered. The Wildcats didn’t allow the lead to extend beyond two.

Arguably, the best aspect of the Linfield team was their pitching. However, in Texas, this was not the case as the pitchers combined gave up 23 runs in two games at Regionals.

“It’s really hard to say or pick out just one thing that could have gone better for us in the tournament,”  Pladson said. “We hit the ball well, played solid defense and our pitchers threw strikes, but couldn’t get timely hits, which is how the other teams beat us.”

“Every time Centenary or Rhodes needed a big hit, they got it and every time we needed a big hit (or needed a big out on defense), we just couldn’t get it,” he said.

Although their time in Texas was short, the team was proud it was able to make it to the tournament.

“To be able to win 13 straight games to win the regular season conference title and then come out of the loser’s bracket to win the conference tournament and guarantee a spot in the regional is something none of us will forget,” Buuck said.

The season is over, but the Wildcats are looking forward for the future. The team is only osing six seniors, and second year assistant coach Stan Manley will step up as the head coach in place of Scott Carnahan.

“It will be tough losing this year’s group of seniors because they were such great players and people, but I think we bring back enough depth that we can make another playoff run next season,” Buuck said.

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Baseball Regionals Cut Short