The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

Preseason Schedule Closes Against Columbia Basin

Sam Whitney
Young is 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA over a staff-leading 26.1 innings.

The Trojans did not close out the non-region portion of their schedule on the high note they had hoped to, dropping three of four to a good Columbia Basin team.

Game one got off to a promising start, with Trojans starter Mason Devinney working five scoreless innings to give his offense time to get in the game.

They did just that in the third inning, when shortstop Jonah Shull took advantage of a Columbia Basin error and drove an RBI double to open the scoring. Unfortunately, Everett couldn’t capitalize further and stranded runners on second and third with just one out.

The Trojans doubled their lead in the bottom of the fifth with some crafty baserunning to manufacture another run.

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After back-to-back one-out singles from Nate Davis and Shull, Davis tagged up and took third on a flyout by Keaton Fisher. During the next at-bat, Shull broke for second and drew an errant throw from the catcher, allowing Davis to jog home from third.

“They have a really good pitching staff, so we knew we had to get runs however we could,” said Head Coach Keith Hessler. “A lot of stolen bases, keeping guys in motion, keeping their defense on their toes.”

In the sixth, the tune changed. After getting the leadoff batter to ground out, four straight batters reached base against Devinney, the big blow dealt in the form of a two RBI triple to right center field by the Hawks’ Trevor Dale.

“The sinker was really working well, I could throw it wherever and whenever I wanted to,” said the right hander. “I got a little tired after that fifth inning. Everything started being up in the zone, and that’s kind of a no-go as a sinkerballer.”

Blake Sandvik came on to limit the damage and allowed one more run to cross the plate before ending the inning.

The Trojans managed two baserunners in both the seventh and eighth innings, but were kept off the board until they scratched a run across in the ninth. By then the Hawks had added two insurance runs, and it was too little too late for Everett.

Shull (right) leads the team in assists with 39. Carson Burns (left) ranks third with 17. (Sam Whitney)

Game two was a back-and-forth affair that saw Everett get out to a 3-0 second-inning lead thanks to RBIs from Axel Puls, Isaac Hoag and Shull, the last of which came on a bases-loaded walk.

Similarly to Devinney in game one, Callum Young breezed through his first four innings of work, and even got two quick outs in the fifth, before things went awry.

Three straight two-out walks made it four for the inning and plated a run for Columbia Basin. Kyle Heaton was summoned from the Everett Bullpen to stem the bleeding, but a passed ball and a single put Columbia Basin in front.

“We’re getting ahead of guys and just not putting them away,” Hessler said. “That’s something they need to learn from.”

After a second pitching change, Ben Hewitt was finally able to end the inning with a strikeout.

Everett tied the game right back up in the bottom of the inning on a busted pickoff play and a bad throw by the Hawks first baseman, but the Trojans pitching staff couldn’t keep it tied.

Heading to the bottom of the ninth the Trojans faced a two run deficit, but they weren’t done fighting.

The situation was bleak, with two outs and a runner on first. Up stepped Puls, representing the Trojans’ last chance. He delivered, lacing a double to the wall in left centerfield.

Still, the Trojans were down to their last out, but they punched back again when Isaac Hoag dumped a hit into shallow left field, scoring Puls and tying the game.

“They were throwing me a lot of changeups,” Hoag said. “I was just sitting on a changeup, trying to stay through it and hit it the other way.”

Hoag was left stranded, and the game went to extra innings.

Brandon Brunette took the mound in the 10th and struck out his first batter. Then came the dagger.

Columbia Basin’s Ethan Stewart hammered a two run homer way out to left field, and the Trojans weren’t able to mount another comeback in their half of the inning.

Game three was without a doubt the highlight of the series. The Trojans came away with a 3-0 win in which Ethan Hubbell and Landon Welter combined for a two hit shutout.

While the Everett offense wasn’t stellar, scoring its runs on a wild pitch, yet another broken pickoff play and a bases-loaded walk, it didn’t matter how the runs came with Hubbell and Welter pitching like they were.

“They attacked the zone early and often,” Hessler said. “First shutout of the year, and the most effective our pitching staff as a whole has been in one game this year.”

Game four was the polar opposite of game three. The team struggled on both sides of the ball and was unable to recover from an early five run deficit, eventually succumbing 11-0 in seven innings.

Trojans outfielders have combined for four assists on the season. (Sam Whitney)

One bright spot of the game was a brilliant throw from Hoag in right field, erasing a Hawks base runner at the plate.

While it wasn’t the series the Trojans were hoping for, Hessler believes in his team’s ability to compete.

“We schedule a hard preseason for a reason. It gives insight into who we are,” Hessler said. “I’m confident this group can figure it out, I’m confident we can get some wins in our region, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

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About the Contributor
Sam Whitney, Managing Editor of Content
What is your dream job? My ultimate dream job would be to work as an analytical sportswriter for or FanGraphs, breaking down aspects of baseball and sharing my passion for the game with others. It would also be awesome if I could somehow work my way into a front office job with an MLB organization. When you aren't doing things for the Clipper, what can you be found doing? Away from the Clipper, I can often be found reading or watching anything baseball-related that I can find. Otherwise, I might be spending time with friends, playing with my dog Cashmere, or reading about history. And sleeping. Lots of sleeping. Which historical or fictitious figure do you most identify with?  The fictitious figure I like to identify with is Steve Harrington from Stranger Things. I may not always be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I have my moments, and I'm protective of those I care about and I'm there for them when it counts.

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