On a sunny day moments before the opening pitch, you’ll find a scene that unites a brotherhood with a will to win. Players huddled in a circle playing hot potato with a hacky sack, coaches smiling and laughing with their players, and a few guys who are zoned in, preparing themselves for another duel. Coach Peterson’s energy creates a good relationship with his players, whether it be at the dugout or third base, and it breeds success across the team.
The #7 Roadrunners have fired on all cylinders the past two weeks, putting together a six-game win streak highlighted by stellar offense. The Roadrunners have managed to score double figures in four of their six games, with their best being a 16-0 drubbing of the Southwestern Oregon Lakers (7-13 overall, 0-4 conference) which was part of a series sweep. Before the series with the Lakers, the Roadrunners faced the Linfield College Wildcats JV team, winning both games in the series by 13 runs, allowing Linfield only one run between both contests.
The teams production under first-year head coach Andy Petersen is nothing short of spectacular, and the team has already shot to a 4-0 record in the south division, tied for first with the Lane Community College Titans. The Roadrunners have a total of 160 runs which sits towards the top of the NWAC. Another star you’ll see on some NWAC leaderboards is Jacob Melton. Melton currently sits at second in the NWAC in batting average with a .456 and also holds the third place for RBI, at 24. Melton is just one of many Roadrunner freshman that have stepped up to the plate and performed on the bigger stage. In an 11-0 win against Southwestern Oregon, Melton whacked a homerun with two men on bases and followed this up by hitting a triple, pushing the already insurmountable lead to 10-0. Not to mention his homerun in the 16-0 victory against the Lakers.
LBCC looks to carry this momentum into their next opponent, the Clark College Penguins. Clark resides in the southern division along with the Roadrunners and holds an 11-11 record, the Roadrunners being their first conference opponent. Clark shares a similar high powered offense, scoring 132 runs on the year thus far with a .275 batting average. The series provides the Roadrunners with an opportunity to extend their dominance in the conference and remain atop the top 10 in the NWAC polls.
The Roadrunners will start their first game in the series against Clark on April 5 on the road before taking the second half of the series back home.
Story and Photos by Cam Hanson