George Fox baseball looking for consistency
On a frigid, windy afternoon in Newberg, George Fox baseball picked up a 10-6 victory over Puget Sound on Sunday to secure the series sweep. The Bruins (7-6, 4-2 Northwest Conference) beat the Loggers 4-0 and 2-1 in a doubleheader on Saturday.
GFU is off to an up-and-down start to its 2019 campaign, with plenty of travel included in its non-conference slate. The Bruins went to Arizona and Georgia for its first seven games, emerging 3-4 before its conference schedule began.
A road series at Pacific Lutheran saw the Bruins go 1-2, with losses of 7-6 and 3-1 to go along with a 2-0 win.
Standing, red-faced, in the windy cold just outside his team's dugout, GFU coach Marty Hunter said his team is looking to find a consistent rhythm in the early stages of its season.
"It's always a work in progress," he said. "We're just working to get better each week. There's an ebb and flow to the season and we're just getting started. We hit the ball pretty well early, got a little quiet last week, then we rebounded, so finding that consistency – on both sides – will be important."
Hunter said he believes this iteration of GFU baseball has a chance to be a "pretty good team" if it can find consistency. The Bruins are led by junior Matt Voelzke – who plays shortstop and comes in to close games on the mound – along with senior outfielder Kyler Brudwick and senior third baseman Jerred Seamons.
Brudwick and Seamons are getting a lot of RBI chances this season, Hunter said, and Voelzke is the kind of all-around talent that can make a difference for a team. It isn't just those three that are playing well at the plate, though. Hunter said the whole group can often chip in.
"It's the whole lineup at times," he said. "Everybody is doing something and that's the key is not needing to rely on one or two people. We're able to get contributions across the board."
Many of those contributions are coming from a trio of transfers from Mount Hood Community College. Juniors Christopher Stone, Jason Garcia and Trevor Nannini all play key roles on this Bruin team and provide experience and work ethic, Hunter said.
Stone typically pitches the first game of the weekend, Garcia is in center field and Nannini has been in and out of the lineup in the infield.
The series against Puget Sound was the first three-game win streak of the Bruins' season so far – a welcome sign for this group as it enters the gauntlet ahead. Hunter said the Northwest Conference schedule should prove challenging due to the quality of the teams GFU will face. "It's a bear," Hunter said. "Each weekend you've got to play your best, because if you don't you're gonna get beat. There's a lot of parity in our conference."
GFU's next three games are on the road – Saturday and Sunday – at Lewis & Clark. After that, the Bruins return home to face rival Linfield March 16-17 in a three-game set.