UBC meet the College of Idaho in CCC playoff opener – University of British

LEWISTON, ID – After clinching a spot in the Cascade Collegiate Conference’s post-season tournament in their final weekend at home, the UBC Thunderbirds (14-9) will face with the College of Idaho Yotes (14-10) at Harris Field in the opening game of the double-elimination playoff tournament starting on Monday, May 9th at 1:00 p.m. (PT).
Over the past month, UBC has won 13 of their past 16 games with the three losses coming by just one run. The ‘Birds have found their groove leading into the post-season and are a confident group looking to leverage this momentum against a Yotes team who they have matchup up for one series this season.

“I think this group has played playoff baseball for the last two or three weeks because they had to, or we wouldn’t have gotten in,” said UBC Head Coach Chris Pritchett. “It’s really fun to watch them start to get some rewards for all of their hard work because I don’t think we’re very far away. We lost some games we probably should have won and it was frustrating but I think our pitching started to mature. We started to feel a little bit of confidence in the last two weeks and I feel like heading into the tournament, we’re playing as well as we have all year and we’re all very optimistic.”

NAIA West Baseball: UBC host Oregon Tech Owls
The four-game series between this first-round matchup took place earlier this season from March 18-20th when UBC hosted the Yotes in Vancouver. The visitors opened by overcoming a six-run deficit to win 8-7 on Friday and then took game one of Saturday’s double-header in dramatic fashion by scoring the go-ahead run in the ninth inning to win 4-3. 

After dropping the first two games, the ‘Birds regrouped and battled back for a 5-4 walk-off win in game two Saturday as Noah Or scored the winner in the bottom of the ninth inning. 

Sunday’s finale watched the T-Birds tie the series with a low-scoring 1-0 victory as Or pushed an RBI single through the middle of the infield for the eventual game-winning run in the seventh inning.

“This group has a good blend of experience,” added Pritchett. “Our young guys have played against some pretty good teams, probably before they were ready but because of that experience, our freshmen are now like sophomores. They’re starting to feel and understand what it takes to be successful at this level. They now have experience they didn’t have when the season started and I think that’s why we’re starting to win games that we weren’t able to before. This group’s always had that talent but half of us didn’t have that experience.”
The Yotes enter Friday’s matchup on a three-game win streak of their own after a series sweep of the Linfield Wildcats this past weekend, leveraging their offence in the 8-1, 10-7, and 10-1 victories.
Leading the way at the plate is Jonah Hultberg, who has started all 54 games for the Yotes and brings his .423 average, 23 doubles, 10 home runs and 46 RBI into the playoffs. Alex McFarland-Smith and Skyler Sadora have also produced this season as they have knocked in 51 and 44 runs respectively.

 NAIA West Baseball: UBC host Oregon Tech Owls

The balanced T-Birds rotation is led by Branden Woods (4-0) who’s 3.64 earned run average is the best on the staff. Ryan Beitel (3-3) leads the team with 70 strikeouts and Shane Laforest has earned the most wins with his 5-3 record. Out of the bullpen, a late-season push after overcoming early-season injuries has found Vicarte Domingo and Sean Heppner as the team’s go-to closers to secure important leads and victories. Domingo has tallied seven saves in his 17 innings of work while striking out an impressive 27 batters.
Dimick Wood (7-3) has earned the majority of the work on the mound for the Yotes with over 75 innings pitched. Colby Durski’s 2.24 ERA might give the T-Birds the most trouble as the reliever has appeared in 32 games this season.

NAIA West Baseball: UBC host Oregon Tech Owls
The Yotes pitchers will have their hands full against a UBC lineup that can strike at any point in their dangerous lineup. Ty…

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