SOPHOMORE PITCHERS FUEL SCC BASEBALL
SCC baseball stumbled to a fifth place finish last year. But this year, things might go differently.
Now coming in with a year under their belt, last year’s freshmen are looking to take the next step and get back to the postseason.
The team is o to a 7-3 start, sweeping a four-game series against Thompson Rivers University. Coming o back-to-back seasons finishing one spot out of the playoffs, Head Coach Dave Snell said the experience gained from the 2017 season is critical, especially on the mound.
Snell said he believes that one strength for the Phins should be the starting pitching. With just a two-year recruiting cycle, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to gain experience. But SCC’s starting pitching is as experienced as it gets in the NWAC.
The four starting pitchers for SCC’s season-opening sweep of Thompson Rivers were all returning players: sophomores Trey Lopez, Ryan Isler and Sean Ferdig, plus redshirt freshman Marcus Noteboom. Sophomore Jake Jewell also is expected to be a factor in the starting rotation once he fully recovers from an injury that sidelined him for the first couple of weeks.
“Last year we let a lot of sophomores go (from the team) after fall,” Snell said. “So we had an all-freshman pitching staff. At the time when I did it, everybody told me I was crazy and I said ‘You know what? Call me crazy, but these guys are going to come in here and get after it. They’re going to learn on the job and it’s going to make us that much better this year.’”
Lopez, in particular, had a fantastic opening start. He threw a complete game one- hit shutout in the series nale against Thompson Rivers, marking his rst start as a Dolphin without giving up any runs. He also struck out eight batters, another career-best.
Utility player Zane Zurbrugg has had a remarkably strong start at the plate, reaching base on 15 of the first 18 times he’s come to the plate.
In a doubleheader against Treasure Valley and Walla Walla on March 11, Zurbrugg went four for ve and drew ve walks.
The Phins are currently in the midst of an eight-game road trip, but will return home for a doubleheader against Tacoma CC starting at noon on Sunday, March 18. All remaining SCC home games will be played at Meridian Park: 16759 Wallingford Ave N.
By Ed Strong,