Mt. Hood Saints baseball needs to bounce back, soon


The Saints at bat looking to seal their 12-2 victory over Clark this last Sunday. Photo by Davyn Owen.

During spring break and over the course of their last 10 games, the Saints baseball team is 1-10, with just one recent win over the Clark College Penguins, 12-2. The Saints have struggled not only offensively, but also defensively.

As a team they’re averaging just .212 at the plate, while on the mound, the Mt. Hood pitching staff ERA is at 4.80. You could say it hasn’t been the greatest year, so far: With 21 games remaining on the schedule, the Saints are 4-14 overall, currently sixth place in the seven-team South Region of the NWAC.

However, including today’s doubleheader, the Saints have 13 games remaining in April, nine of which are home games. We could possibly see Mt. Hood start a win streak and get rolling quickly.

The Saints face Chemeketa Community College twice today in Gresham, the first game starting at 4 p.m. and the second at 7 p.m. Chemeketa is 16-6 on the year, but has gone 5-5 in its last 10 games.

The Storm is hitting .294 as a team, led by infielder Collin Runge. In 74 at-bats, Runge has only struck out five times batting. .432 on the season. He has 15 RBIs, 14 walks and 15 stolen bases and looks to be a key component for the Storm, offensively.

The response we are looking forward includes Mt. Hood’s own Jace McKinney, who has been hitting consistently all year, batting a solid .299. In 77 at-bats, the utility infielder-outfielder has driven in 10 runs, with 23 base hits, including two doubles. If the Saints have any sort of chance this weekend, they will need him to keep up the good work and remain tough at the plate.

Pitching-wise, the matchup will be quite interesting. Connor Stevenson for Mt. Hood has been one to watch all year. With four starts so far for the Saints, he has a 2.58 ERA and 24 innings pitched, while leading the team with 25 strikeouts. The right-hander will be a tough test for the Storm as he has only allowed seven earned runs all year.

On the Chemeketa side, starting pitcher Kordell Vasbinder will be bringing the heat. He has a record of five wins and one loss this season with a team-best 2.32 ERA. Also a right-hander, he has only allowed eight earned runs in 31 innings pitched, with 19 strikeouts. He could most definitely be a game-changer for the Storm in this critical matchup against the Saints.

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