Olympic College on the fence for playoffs
By MIKE BALDWIN
Bremerton Patriot Sports Writer
May 18, 2011 · Updated 3:25 PM
Olympic College currently finds itself outside the playoff picture – twice.
The Rangers baseball and softball teams not only share the same field, they also have similar records and a predicament in advancing to the postseason this week. Both squads need wins, and help, to reach the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges tournament.
Ryan Parker said Monday that his team’s biggest obstacle is hitting with runners in scoring position. The Rangers head baseball coach added that the squad has lost a slew of close games this season, mostly due to a lack of offense.
“Guys strike out instead of putting the ball in play and giving us a chance,” said Parker, coaching in his fifth season at the Bremerton school. “It all comes down to getting contact at the right time.”
The team snapped a nine-game losing streak by winning four of six in mid-April, keeping its postseason hopes intact. But Parker’s squad has gone 2-9 since that point.
Olympic College will need to sweep Everett Community College in four games at home this weekend. Douglas College (British Columbia) and Skagit Valley College (Mount Vernon) also need to lose their final games to help push the Rangers into the No. 4 seed.
They are mathematically still alive, but Parker said the team’s chances are slim.
“Reality says we’re not going to be a playoff team,” he added. “My expectation now is that the guys finish hard.”
Sophomore outfielder and first basemen Brad Fairweather said Monday that the team still has a lot at stake, even if the record isn’t stellar.
“We don’t want to just roll over now,” Fairweather added. “We feel we have something to build on. It would be great to get at least a couple of wins, if not all four against a team like Everett.”
Everett is 16-4 in league play, 26-8 overall.
Meanwhile, the school’s softball squad is also fighting for a spot in the top four of the North Division standings. Entering Tuesday, the fifth-place Rangers trailed Douglas by two games.
The team had eight of its first 10 games rained out at the start of the season, but the Rangers have managed to keep pace after going 10-11 since April. They wrap up the season this weekend against Edmonds Community College on the road.
Sophomore second baseman Lexi Orteza, an Olympic High School graduate, said the players are approaching the final week by taking it one pitch at a time. The advice from head coach Jessica Cabato is to keep their heads up as the season winds down, Orteza added Monday.
“It’s been a tough few weeks, but we’ve been able to keep going,” Orteza said. “We just need to play smarter now and not look too far ahead.”
The softball team needs to keep winning this week in addition to losses by Douglas. Like the baseball squad, the Rangers softball program might also miss out on the postseason, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to defy the odds.
“We’re keeping our morale up right now,” Orteza said. “Coming out and playing together is our best asset, so we just need to continue.”
The softball team split its doubleheader with Everett Tuesday. They lost the first game 7-1, but won 4-3 in the second contest at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.
Saturday, May 14:
Everett (away doubleheader) at 1 p.m.
Sunday, May 15:
Everett (home doubleheader) at 1 p.m.
Saturday: May 14: Edmonds (away) at noon.