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Posted on Apr 20, 2019

Baseball squad returns to winning ways with 3-game streak

Quincy High School’s baseball team returned to the W column and has now built its second three-game winning streak of the year after a win at home over Ephrata and a two-game sweep of Toppenish on the road.
“The guys are really working hard in practice and battling in all counts and swinging the bats better than they have in the last few weeks,” said head coach Colton Loomis. “It’s fun to see that the work in practice is paying off.”
A different approach at the plate is working for the Jacks, Loomis said. Instead of trying to pull the ball and hit it to the left side, the team has been instead trying to hit the ball the other way.
A new approach on the mound is also helping, he added.
“We are trusting into a process where we invite contact,” Loomis said. Starters Mike Spence and Nick Gonzalez have been solid on the mound, throwing to bats, and keeping the ball low, letting the defense work.
The approach builds cohesiveness in the team, with fielders trusting the pitcher to keep the ball low, and the pitcher trusting his defense behind him to stop the ball, Loomis said.
So far, so good.
After leaving behind a pesky Ephrata squad on April 9 thanks in a big way to Andrew Escalante’s sterling three-inning relief performance on the mound, the Jacks traveled to Toppenish and outscored the Wildcats 21-2 in two games on April 13.
The first game lasted five innings, with the Jacks thumping the Wildcats 14-0. The second game went Quincy’s way, 7-2, in seven.
Spence went five innings in the first game, giving up a lone hit. Gonzalez had three hits, Escalante had three and reached base four times.
Connor Donovan reached base three times. The Jacks outhit Toppenish 21-1 in the first game.
“We put the ball in play, that’s for sure,” Loomis said.
In the second game, Gonzalez went the distance for the Jacks, giving up two earned runs.
“He threw very well,” Loomis said.
The wins left Quincy Jacks in first place in the CWAC’s Division 2, the lower of the two divisions that separate the CWAC’s baseball season this year.
The top three teams in Division 2 make the playoffs this year. All five teams in Division 1 make the playoffs this year.
“It sounds unfair, but it’s based off of the last five years’ records,” Loomis said.
The Jacks (5-3) have one more game as of April 16 than 4-3 Grandview, and that gives the Jacks first place, despite having lost twice to the Greyhounds.
Next up for the Jacks is the final stretch of games of their season.
It begins with a game at Othello on April 16 and contests at home on April 20 (an 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. doubleheader at home versus the Wapato Wolves), April 23 (at home versus East Valley) and April 27 (at home against the Ellensburg Bulldogs).

By Sebastian Moraga,