Baseball team prepares for playoff slug fest

As the regular season comes to an end for the baseball team, the focus now shifts to the postseason where the team faces a tough challenge this Friday and Saturday against Southwestern College in a three-game series.

“They are a really good team,” BJ Bensoua, relief pitcher, said, “It doesn’t matter who we play; we’re going to play our game and do the same stuff we’ve been doing all year.”

EC (29-13, 18-6) faced the Jaguars earlier this season on the road and managed a 9-6 victory, which gives the Warriors confidence that they can win again.

“We will just practice like we did the whole season; it’s just that the games will be more intense,” Kellen Moen, pitcher, said. “We just have to do the same stuff that we did to get us here in the first place.”

The Warriors concluded the season with two convincing wins against Compton last week to wrap up its second place finish in the conference.

During the series with Compton, the team racked up 23 runs and 20 runs, respectively, in a demonstration of the Warriors’ explosive offensive ability.

“Were playing really well right now,” Nate Fernley, coach, said, “We’re two innings away from being undefeated this month, so we’re just hoping that momentum will carry us through.”

The Jaguars have also been on a winning streak of their own, compiling a 22-3 record on their way to a first place South Coast Conference finish and a playoff berth.

However, regular season records do not matter when the playoffs begin.

“We played this team before on their field and won, so we’ve got a little bit of confidence going in,” Fernley said. “All we have to do is keep on playing the way we’re playing at the end of the season.”

Moen will start the first game Friday and Ken Gravely will get the nod in the second game Saturday. Moen is 8-2 this season with a 2.74 ERA in 13 starts.

“I’ve just got to do the normal stuff that I do every week,” Moen said. “If I continue to do that, I should be just fine.”

If the series stretches out to a third and deciding game, the Warriors have a plan to move pitchers around to fill the rotation.

“One of the middle relievers will be a starter if we play that third game,” Bill Hood, assistant coach, said.

Southwestern has a one-two punch of its own with aces Jorge Dyrjanski and Daniel Stenavich set to take the mound in the weekend series against the Warriors. The team has already faced Dyrjanski and knows what he brings.

“We have a pretty good Idea of what they are going to do and how they’re going to throw,” Moen said, “[Dyrjanski] is a lefty who throws a little loop curveball.”

Besides having a solid pitching staff, Southwestern is loaded with players who can hit well and the Warrior coaching staff is wary of the home run potential of the team.

“They have sluggers,” Hood said. “I was looking through their stats and it looks like all of their starting position players have multiple home runs.”