Wildcats elimination ends NCAA playoffs hopes, dreams

Angel Rosas, Staff writer

The men’s baseball team was eliminated from the Northwest Conference playoffs in Tacoma after losing to both the Pacific Lutheran Lutes and the Willamette Bearcats.

The Wildcats started of the weekend against Willamette, who took an early lead with a leadoff double making the score 1-0.

The Bearcats scored again on the top of the fourth making it a two-score lead.

The ’Cats made their comeback in the fifth when Brady Rediger, ’18, grounded out to the shortstop and was able to bring Alec Cook ’19 home.

Later, Ryan Ross, ’19, hits a ground ball to the right side allowing Joey Cassano, ’19, to score tying it all up into the sixth inning.

The Wildcats took the lead when Jake Dennis, ’19, singled to right field and giving way to Jake Gellos, ’19, to score. The ‘Cats held on to the lead until the eighth inning.

The Bearcats scored with a single early in the eighth tying up the game again. Then, with bases loaded Bearcat’s Tyler Janitz singled to right field and advanced to third on a throwing error by Ross.

The throw hit Gellos and rolled to the Bearcat’s dugout allowing all three Bearcat players to score.

The Wildcats were not able to recover and joined the loser bracket to take on Pacific Lutheran.

On Saturday the Wildcats were eliminated from playoff play when Pacific Lutheran held on to a one-point lead.

The Lutes had the lead for the majority of the game and only allowed to the Wildcats to score three runs in the fifth inning.

Entering the ninth hopes seemed dim for the Wildcats to turn the game around. However, thanks to a throwing error by the Bearcats and Daniel Zavala, ’19, took a chance and ran in for the score.

Then, Ross hit a single that would bring home the Wildcat’s last score of the day. It was not enough to keep the teams NCAA regional playoff dreams alive with a score of 6-5.

“It would have been nice to pull out a win in the tournament but that’s just not the way it went,” Catcher Ayden Allen, ‘20, said. Linfield heads back to Tacoma next weekend to end the 2018 season with four games against NWC opponents. The ’Cats start off with a doubleheader at Pacific Luthern on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.

“The hardest part [of the loses] really is seeing the seniors. On the flip side though, it’s really motivating to see the emotion and it makes us underclassman want to do more,” Infielder Colton Robinson, ’20, said.