By Gabi Marrese
Cheney Stadium hosted the crosstown rivals Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound on April 4 for a nonconference battle for Tacoma’s best college baseball teams. This is the first year since the early 90s that these teams have faced each other on this stage.
“It is something that I have always wanted to get started and this was the first year it we have been fortunate enough to make it happen,” head coach Jeff Halstead said.
Coach Halstead made an effort to reach out to Board of Trustees member and former head baseball coach Brad Cheney to put this event into action. Cheney’s father, Ben, helped to fund and open the stadium.
“I coached at University of Puget Sound from 1986-1991, if my memory serves me correctly the last two or three years we got it [this event] on an annual schedule like we are trying to start for these guys. The last year I was there we won so we finished on a good note,” Cheney said.
Cheney attended Puget Sound as well as coached the baseball team but his son attended Pacific Lutheran.
“It’s kind of ironic but I’m still a Logger even though I have a lot of respect for Pacific Lutheran and the students that they produce over there and the work that they do in the community. When I go to the game I am still rooting hard for the Loggers,” Cheney said.
The last few years of when Cheney coached at Puget Sound, his high school coach and mentor was the coach for the Lutes. As mentioned before, Cheney won his last year when they faced the Lutes at Cheney Stadium.
Unfortunately the sun did not stay out for the game. There was a light sprinkle as the lights turned on and the players took the field. No matter what the conditions were, the players still had a night to remember.
“What I’ll be looking forward to the most will be playing under the lights and being in the stadium itself. There’s something about being in a stadium such as Cheney which makes you appreciate the beauty of the game. Back in Hawaii we don’t have any Major or Minor League fields so this will be one to remember,” first year student Mason Quinlan (Mililani, Hawaii) said before the game.
The Loggers women’s basketball team took the mound first to throw out the honorary first pitch as Pacific Northwest Conference Champions. Seniors Alexis Noren (Milwaukie, Oregon) and Katie Holland (Enumclaw, Washington) both took their turn throwing a strike.
Both teams remained scoreless through the third inning. With the wonderful Pacific Northwest rain continuing to fall, ground crew touched up the pitchers mound and around home plate and the game proceed. In the bottom of the fifth, the Loggers hot bats took off. Senior Alex Wojtysiak (Fountain Hills, Arizona) hit a solo home run to put the Loggers on the board. The next batter senior Ryan Darrow (Bellevue, Washington) followed Wojtysiak with another solo home run for the Loggers. Both of these home runs were the first of their season for both players.
Unfortunately the rain continued to shower the field and the game was suspended. They will continue but the date will have to be determined at another time so watch for the date on the Logger Athletics website. Special thanks to Brad Cheney and the Tacoma Rainiers for the opportunity for the team to play at Cheney Stadium.
“We would appreciate the support from everyone so come out and support the Logger baseball team,” Quinlan said.
The Logger’s host a doubleheader is on Saturday April 8 against Willamette at 12 p.m and 3 p.m. They finish the series at 12 p.m. on Sunday April 9.