SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth baseball team returns to action this weekend in a part of the country not covered in snow. The Pirates head to the greater Atlanta, Georgia-area for three games against NCAA Division III non-conference opponents.
Whitworth opened its 2019 schedule last weekend by taking two of three games at the College of Idaho, an NAIA member school. The Pirates took the opener 11-0 behind the dominant pitching of Matthew Young (7 innings, no runs, three hits, six strikeouts). The Bucs dropped the second game 7-6, committing three late errors after opening a 5-0 lead. Whitworth rebounded to win the third game 7-1 after another strong pitching performance by Ryan Kingma.
Nicholas Nerud led the team offensively throughout the weekend, going 8-16 at the plate with six runs batted in.
Young was selected as the Northwest Conference's first baseball Pitcher of the Week in 2019.
The Opponents: The Pirates face three non-conference opponents who are all coming off winning campaigns in 2018. Watch the Whitworth baseball schedule for live links to this weekend's games.
The Piedmont Lions, from Demorest, are 3-2 so far this season, including a 6-5 victory over NWC-member Pacific (Ore.) last weekend in Arizona. Last season Piedmont finished 30-14 and took second place (14-4) in the USA South Athletic Conference. Friday's game between Pirates and Lions will start at 3:00 pm (EST) / Noon (PST). Whitworth and Piedmont have never played in baseball.
Emory University, located in Atlanta, is a member of the prestigious University Athletic Association. The Eagles are 1-0 so far this season after going 20-18 overall, 11-5 in the UAA last spring. Saturday's game will start at 1:00 pm (EST) / 10:00 am (PST). Whitworth played Emory on Feb. 13, 2016 and defeated the Eagles 8-7 in 10 innings.
The Pirates will complete the trip with a game against the Millsaps Majors on Sunday morning at Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven, a suburb of Atlanta. Millsaps, from Jackson, Mississippi, is 1-2 this season. The Majors finished 25-10 overall and 10-11 in the Southern Athletic Association in 2018. Whitworth last played Millsaps in the opening round of the 2015 NCAA regionals, falling 7-6. Sunday's game will start at 9:30 am (EST) / 6:30 am (PST).
The Coach: CJ Perry is in his second season as head coach of the Pirates, after serving five seasons as an assistant coach. He had two players taken in the major league draft in 2018, pitcher Hugh Smith in the sixth round by the Detroit Tigers and shortstop Joel Condreay selected in the 31st round by the Colorado Rockies. As pitching coach in 2016, Perry's staff led all of NCAA Div. III in walks allowed per nine innings (2.07) and posted a team ERA of 3.95.