SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth University baseball team has had to battle the weather as much as any on-field opponent of late. After last week's Northwest Conference opening series against Whitman was postponed because of snow, the Pirates hope to open NWC play this weekend at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
The teams are scheduled to play at doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 11:00 am. They will play a single game on Sunday at noon. Watch the Whitworth baseball schedule for live links to this weekend's action.
The Pirates: Whitworth is 5-6 so far this season against a challenging non-conference schedule. Nearly half of the 11 games have been against nationally ranked opponents. Whitworth's most recent games were February 16-17 in Tyler, Texas where the Bucs defeated Texas-Tyler and Centenary in close contests.
The Whitworth bats are waiting to come alive. The Pirates are hitting .232 as a team so far this season. The pitching has limited opponents to 4.12 earned runs per game and an opposing batting average of .245.
Joel Condreay is batting .348 and leads the squad in home runs (2), doubles (5) and RBI's (11). Spencer Locati is hitting .361, Whitworth's best batting average to this point. Among Pirate starting pitchers, Ryan Kingma is 1-2, but with a 1.42 ERA. He leads the Pirates in innings-pitched (19.0) and is second in strikeouts (9).
The Opponents: Willamette is 7-7 overall and 3-3 in the NWC this season. The Bearcats recently took two of three games at Pacific last weekend. Junior IF Tyler Janitz is batting .409, while senior OF Perry Van Eckhardt is hitting .350 with 12 RBIs. Junior RHP Matt Steindorf is 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA this season.
Last year the Bearcats swept the Pirates in a three-game series that had to be moved to Pacific Lutheran because of snow on Whitworth's Merkel Field.
The Coach: CJ Perry is in his first year as the Pirates' head coach. He spent several years as an assistant on the staff. Perry is a former Whitworth player who graduated in 2012 as an honorable mention All-Northwest Conference honoree. He received his CSCS certification through the NSCA in 2015.
Coming up: Whitworth will attempt to get in some home games on March 10-11 with George Fox schedule to come to Merkel Field for a Northwest Conference series.