TACOMA, Washington – A couple of clutch hits and a few big outs could have shifted the entire complexion of the 2019 Puget Sound baseball season, but the Loggers found themselves on the wrong side of one-run games more often than not.
Exactly one third of Puget Sound's games were decided by one run, but the Loggers posted a 3-10 record in those close contests.
The Loggers made a push for the postseason when they finished the month of March with consecutive three-game sweeps against Northwest Conference foes. Puget Sound topped Lewis & Clark thrice in Portland, outscoring the Pioneers 41-15 on the weekend (March 23-24).
Upon returning home to Tacoma, Puget Sound swept Linfield (March 30-31) for the first time since 2007. The series appeared to be a sign that tides were turning in the Loggers' favor, as two of Puget Sound's three wins over the Wildcats were by one run. Following the triumphs over Linfield, Mason Quinlan was named the NWC Position Student-Athlete of the Week. Quinlan belted a two-run home in the bottom of the eighth inning of the final game against Linfield, giving the Loggers a 6-5 victory. Overall during the weekend, Quinlan hit 7-for-13 (.538) with four RBI and three runs scored. The six consecutive wins pushed the Loggers' NWC record to 8-7.
Quinlan, a junior first baseman, was one of four Loggers to receive an All-NWC nod. He finished the season ranked second on the team in home runs (2) and RBI (20), and he led the squad in slugging percentage (.437), which landed an All-NWC Second Team nod.
Senior left fielder Jack Gries was also placed on the All-NWC Second Team. His final season culminated as the team leader in home runs (4), RBI (29), and doubles (12). Sophomore second baseman Kyle Strash and senior pitcher Tyler Huling both received All-NWC Honorable Mention. Strash, the D3baseball.com 2018 West Region Rookie of the Year, once again proved to be an on-base machine (.454). He also led the Loggers in runs scored (30). Huling saved his best for conference foes, as he posted a 3.48 ERA through 41.1 innings in NWC games.
With eyes already set on the 2020 season, Puget Sound looks forward to returning eight starters to the lineup card (Gries being the only graduating position player). The Loggers also eagerly await to see what Davis Miller has in store for his sophomore campaign. Miller's 3.97 ERA ranked second among all NWC freshmen pitchers with at least nine starts.