Bellevue College’s baseball team opened their season last weekend with four games against Douglas College. The first two took place on Saturday, north of the border in British Columbia, with the two Sunday games occurring here at Bellevue Community College. BCC and DC split the double headers on both Saturday and Sunday, going 2 – 2 overall.
In an effort to emulate the major leagues as closely as possibly, the Bulldogs will play a double header every time they face an opponent, and in cases like last weekend’s series, they end up playing four over the course of two days. “We want to get in as many games as possible on the weekends so that they don’t have to miss classes during the [week],” said Head Coach Mark Yoshino. “Secondly, baseball is usually played in series, like when the Mariners play a four game series against Oakland. You get to see different pitchers each day. Each time needs to have four starting pitchers, so you see all of the [rotation].”
Thinking back to his expectations for the team at the start of the season, Yoshino said, ““[My expectations are] the same as they are now. It’s a veteran club, and I think we’re going to do really well, and now we’re starting league play. Nothing’s really changed yet as far as opinions on the team, the make up of the team is the exact same. We haven’t had any major injuries, so we haven’t had any dramatic change of personnel. So that’s good, and that’s one reason the outlook hasn’t changed one bit.”
The season got off to an uncertain start, however, as the Bulldogs lost a record-high seven games in preseason. Even though they’re technically a month into the season, they’re practically just getting into it, as they didn’t play for the last two weeks of March due to rainouts.
Yoshino wasn’t too bothered by splitting the series, though. “We could have done better, but the magnitude of the losses isn’t as great as it would be if it was the final week of the season. Since it was the first week of the season, we’ll just take it and move on. We know we’re in a good position still because it’s only the first week of the season.”
One key to victory was sophomore southpaw Brian Buckham. After having some difficulties early in March, he came on strong and looked more like the pitcher than was expected. “No other players have really jumped up on a regular basis,” said Yoshino. “It seems to be a different guy every week, which is kind of what we’re going to need as far as getting a good team effort. We would like to have a well-balanced club.”
Coming up next? Edmonds Community College. Edmonds used to be BCC’s league rival. At one point in time, BCC and Edmonds were on top of the league for about twenty years straight. That was actually broken about four years ago, but, considering the long-term history of the two programs, it’s always been a heated battle. It should be a good one this weekend.