TACOMA, Washington - From the outfield, to the mound, to the backstop, the Puget Sound baseball team returns a deep core of Loggers for the 2018 season.
Speedy seniors Cal Muramaru and James Dejesus are back to patrol the outfield and take away base hits. Offensively, the pair combined for 15 steals and 31 runs during the 2017 season. Junior Jack Gries figures to play more in the outfield this season after playing some games at catcher in 2017. Gries hit .293 last spring, including an unforgettable walk-off base hit against Whitworth in the season-finale.
As a freshman last year, first baseman Mason Quinlan worked his way into the lineup on a regular basis by the middle of March. He did more than hold his own by hitting .310. The Loggers bring back another standout freshman from 2017 – Ricardo Barraza. The catcher was named to the All-Northwest Conference Second Team last year after putting up a slash line of .305/.406/.441.
Starting pitcher Merle Rowan-Kennedy was also an All-NWC selection in 2017. He posted a 3.82 ERA through 13 appearances (11 starts), and struck out nearly eight batters per nine innings. Only Joshua Zavisubin threw more innings than Rowan-Kennedy's 68.1 for the Loggers last spring. Zavisubin worked 69.2 innings through 14 appearances (13 starts). To be sure, the top of the Loggers' rotation has plenty of experience entering the 2018 campaign.
After leading the Northwest Conference in saves (7) last year, Michael Warnick is poised to once again lead the Loggers' bullpen.
The season begins Feb. 10, in Oregon, where the Loggers take on Lewis & Clark and Linfield for a pair of non-conference games. The first home game of the year is also the conference-opener against Lewis & Clark, March 3.
Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran bring their crosstown rivalry back to Cheney Stadium (home of the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers), April 26.