Baseball pitches past competition at S.C.


James Kay, Sports Editor

Though the weather has been somewhat of a nuisance for them, the Chaparral baseball team has started its season off with a splash as they sport a 5-1 record. Despite a small sample, the team has gotten it done on all aspects of the game. Head Coach Kevin Tyrrell said pitching had a lot to do with his team’s success in their trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“Our pitchers pitched really well,” said Tyrrell. “When the other teams don’t score runs, you have a really good chance to win every game you play in, and that’s what happened.”

COD started off their season with a 1-0 win against division-one team USC Salkehatchie. They secured the win with the help of brilliant pitching performances from Tomas Aguilar and Steve Waldrop who combined for a 4-hit shutout. The only run produced from both sides came in the second inning from Chaparral outfielder Elias Perez’s sacrifice fly.

The second game of the doubleheader they played against USC Salkehatchie also went in their favor. Wyatt Trautwein started on the bump for COD and threw three strong innings before Dane Zarnowski, and Austin Kapusinsk relieved him the rest of the way. COD’s offense didn’t start to click until the end of regulation. They drove in three runs in the top of the eighth to put them ahead 4-1. USC Salkehatchie couldn’t come back as Kapusinsk shut them down in the bottom half of the eighth to record his first win of the season and COD’s second win of the day. Leadoff hitter, Brian Taheri, led the offense with two extra base hits and knocked in one of COD’s four runs.

The offense kept their bats alive as COD slugged their way past Western Technical College in a 10-2 win. Perez and Taheri together went 6-8, scored three runs, and drove in five runs for the Chaparrals. Jason Adams went deep into the game going 5.1 innings before being yanked. Adams allowed two runs and struck out two hitters before his day was over.

Their winning streak ended with an ugly loss against Brunswick Community College who slaughtered them 13-0. Tyrrell blames the inconsistent pitching for the loss saying that they “weren’t throwing strikes” and “didn’t do a good job that day.” The team didn’t do so hot at the plate either as they combined for only two hits in the five innings they played.

The rest of the trip was a breeze for the Chaparrals, as they outscored their opponents 17-1 in their last two games in South Carolina. Jimmy McDonald pitched six strong innings and tallied four strikeouts while only surrendering one walk in an 8-0 win against Western Technical College. Doran Blake went 3-4 with three RBIs, two extra base hits and scored two runs during the win. They won their last game 9-1 behind sophomore pitcher Mike Hanson who struck out six hitters in 4 2/3 innings pitched. Hanson also went 1-2 with 2 RBIs and a run scored.

There wasn’t much more Tyrrell could have asked for from his team so far in the season and they even surprised him with their early success.

“I would say I overestimated [the competition they faced] a bit but I also underestimated how sharp we would be coming out,” said Tyrrell. “The first two games we played were against a division-one USC Salkehatchie team, a team that had already played 11 games in South Carolina. They are a pretty good team but we just played better than they did.”

After they left South Carolina with a 5-1 record they were scheduled to play in Southern Illinois but were unable to due to bad weather conditions. Still, Tyrrell liked what he saw on the field in South Carolina.

“We stepped up and everybody was in every play in every game, even in the dugout,” said Tyrrell. “It was awesome.”