The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Baseball wins behind Sales’ strong outing

Matt Hammond ’17 is hitting .313 this season. Photo by Sarah Ruiz
Matt Hammond ’17 is hitting .313 this season.  Photo by Sarah Ruiz
Matt Hammond ’17 is hitting .313 this season.
Photo by Sarah Ruiz

Grinnell men’s baseball demonstrated over the weekend that sometimes size does not matter. The Pioneers traveled to St. Louis to take on Washington University in St. Louis, a major research university that boasts an enrollment of over 14,000 students. Grinnell, with a around 1,700 students, seems comparably miniscule. It would seem that Washington University had a decided advantage, yet Grinnell not only held its own against a larger opponent, the Pioneers took three out of four games.

“[Our players] understand that it’s just another team once we get down to playing,” said head coach Tim Hollibaugh.

Ian Sales ’15 mentioned how Washington University offers more majors than Grinnell, which gives the school a definite edge in recruiting. But all of this did not help them on Saturday.

Sales was one of last weekend’s stars, starting the final game and pitching seven scoreless innings while allowing only six base runners. Sales pointed to a few defensive gems as a reason behind his success. In particular, an outfield assist by Anthony Mack ’16 was a pivotal play given that the game was scoreless at the time.

“I’m a believer that scoring first is definitely a thing,” Sales said, emphasizing the importance of Mack’s assist.

The performance garnered Sales the distinction of being named the Midwest Conference Pitcher of the Week, the first such honor for the senior, pitching in his final collegiate season. Sales was humble about the award and downplayed his achievement.

“I’m a believer in focusing on the process rather than the outcome,” Sales said. “It’s all about the small things adding up to the larger things.”

Fortunately, Hollibaugh was able to brag on behalf of his pitcher.

“[Sales] has just really turned into an intelligent pitcher who has really taken advantages of the opportunities he’s gotten,” Hollibaugh said.

While Sales got much of the attention over the weekend, Hollibaugh was quick to point out the success of the bullpen.

“John Essig ’16 and Mike Annerino ’15 came up big, closing off both the first and second game,” Hollibaugh said.

On offense, Hollibaugh believes that there has been production throughout the entire lineup.

“Everyone is contributing, and that’s what good teams do,” Hollibaugh said.

The Pioneers now shift into a pivotal part of their season. Grinnell will play Cornell College, Knox College and Illinois College the next three weekends. All three of these teams are in the Midwest Conference, making these upcoming series of the utmost importance.

For Hollibaugh, it is essential that the team does not try to get ahead of itself.

“I hate to be cliché, but we’re going to have to take it one game at a time,” Hollibaugh said, referencing a Bull Durham quote.

Fans will get their first chance to see Grinnell during this crucial stretch on Saturday when the Pioneers host Cornell College at noon and 2:30 p.m. Cornell has been picked by many to be Grinnell’s toughest competition, so the Pioneers will need all the support they can get from their hometown fans.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *