Sports & Outdoors

Logger baseball ready and eager to show talents

With the start of the spring season comes the start of new sports. This upcoming spring season is finally the chance for the Logger baseball team to show off all their hard work and effort they put in during their preseason.

The team started their first games last week in a tournament in Frisco, Texas. Although they only won one of their three games, the team had many exciting achievements which proved how their upcoming season is going to look.

The Loggers’ have proved to not only themselves but to others that they are more than just a sports team. They are a tight-knit group of friends with a strong support system.

Senior captain Lucas Stone (Ashland, Ore.)who started his career at Puget Sound due to its welcoming campus, strong academic standing and Division III baseball teamexpresses what the team means to him.

“One of the things that is great about team sports is the camaraderie it builds with your teammates, but what is unique about this team is the amount of friendships it builds along the way. My best friends are all on this team so it makes some of the less enjoyable things about baseball, say long practices in the rain or early mornings on the road, much more enjoyable because at the end of the day I get to spend so much time with my friends,” Stone said.

The captains cohesively agreed that the team this year is most looking forward to continuously getting better and showing off each member’s talents to form a strong and close-knit team. Each player is crucial to the game and all of the captains agreed to the idea that while there are standout players, everyone deserves the same amount of attention.

“Our team is so deep that while I could list a lot of the guys who are starting, their backups are just as talented and just as deserving of praise. Everyone on our team has the ability to produce and carry our team at any particular moment this season,” Stone said.

While the team has yet to start conference games—it plays Whitman on Mar. 1—the Loggers have gotten the chance to play in NWC Challenge games from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23. The team had a close game against Oregon Tech with a 2-1 loss, but had a tougher match against Concordia with a 6-0 loss.

Junior Steven Wagar (Yakima, Wash.) was both a key player in the Texas tournament and a leader for the rest of his team.

As one of three captains—the team does not have set positions, but Jarrod Beiser, Stone, and Wagar are acknowledged as the leaders—Wagar has an important role in leading the team toward a successful season both on and off the field.

“I would say I am definitely a leader on the team as an upperclassmen with a lot of on field experience. I feel as a leader I am called to set an example for the younger players about how to approach the game and practice. I also feel that I am called to serve them in any way possible, meaning that I will do anything I can to make them better,” Wagar said.

Senior Beiser (Cupertino, Calif.), who started playing baseball in Little League and has been playing ever since, also believes his role as a leader on the team is a crucial one. Along with being on the team for the past four years and seeing how the team has changed, he sees the potential of this upcoming season.

“The upcoming games look promising for us, we have a very special team this year that has hopes of going a long ways,” Beiser said.

The tournament in Texas was a positive experience for many players as many of them got their feet wet, and traveling across the country was a great experience to start off their games.

One highlight was during the top of the 7th when Connor Savage (Bothell, Wash.), Eric Lund (Tacoma, Wash.) and Stone all scored—the highest score of any inning.

Before the team even starts their conference matches, it is evident what their strengths and weaknesses already are. The Loggers have a lot of potential and compared to past seasons, they are truly focused on the sport and all that comes with it.

“We continue to bring in great players every year so our talent pool is getting deeper and deeper. There is also much more of a focus on baseball now than there was before. In my first two years it felt like baseball would occasionally take a back seat to having the ‘college experience’ which I felt hurt us at times. While people are still encouraged to be involved in other things, at the end of the day most of us came to UPS because of baseball. Now, when it is time to focus on baseball I feel like that focus is there more so than it has been in the past,” Stone said.

Along with the influx of new players can come weaknesses to the team.

“Our two biggest weaknesses are consistently playing at a high level, and our lack of maturity in the sense of time on the field. Our youthful weakness can also be our strength, we have a lot of young guys who have a passion for the game who show great effort day in and day out. We also have a very potent offensive that has a lot of depth,” Wagar said.

Since the team has been working all year for this season, they are all more than ready to start playing conference games and having a successful season.

Support the Loggers when they play their first home game Saturday Mar. 8 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. against Whitworth.