The Thrill of Winning
By: Cole McHahon
The Simpson Baseball team was in a must-win situation Friday after dropping three games to OIT.
Coming into the series against Bushnell University, Simpson Baseball was 1-5 on the year looking for a quick turn of events. Fortunately, the team came out ready to play and took the first two games from Bushnell winning a close one 15-13 and winning their second game 11-3.
In the second game of the day, pitcher Ethan Buttars had the start on the bump and dominated the game for 8 innings with 1earned run and 9 strikeouts.
After his start, Buttars had to say,
“It felt pretty good. It was a grind and super exciting. I was glad to be a part of it.”
Throughout the game, Buttars was slicing up batters and giving his offense room to work. Center fielder Shane Ogata put on an offensive show blasting two home runs, helping with the 11 runs scored in the second game.
Winning these two games was “very important [is] something that is going to make us better and get us rolling,” Buttars said.
His perspective of continuing the team’s success is that “[the team] need[s] to keep playing as a family. When we have each other's backs, we play better.”
After making the playoffs just a year ago, the Simpson Baseball team has lofty expectations to make a big push in the CalPac and return to the playoffs.
Pitcher Jackson Bennett, who was a part of the playoff team last year, he said it was “important for the program” it was to win these two games and is “a step in the right direction and is a reality check on the potential for this team.”
In the past few years, the baseball program has been on an upward trajectory and Bennett expressed a few words about the current freshman and future for the Simpson Baseball team.
He stated, “as long as they are willing to put the work in, it’s worth it.” Bennett said this relates to the journey of being a baseball player and bringing a winning culture to the team.
He reflected on his career: “I understand the game a lot better now. Learning the discipline behind baseball will help me in the future with the little life lessons it has presented me.”
As for the expectations of this 2022 team, Bennett examined how “making the playoffs would be good.”
Yes, making the playoffs would be beneficial for this Simpson team as they build from the success, they had the past two years. But, only a few games in the season, this team is just focused on winning one game at a time and letting their playing do the talking.