Baseball wins first conference title since 1987

Photo of the baseball team posing with the trophy
Courtesy of July Ward Jones

Team celebrates while reflecting on successful season, team camraderie

The Lewis & Clark Baseball team not only finished six games above .500 in conference, they swept the Pacific Boxers, cementing themselves as the fourth Northwest Conference title winners in the college’s history for the first time since 1987. This is the first title LC has held since becoming Division III. 

This year’s roster ranked between fourth and fifth in every major statistical category in their conference. However, simply looking at the overall outcomes of the numbers does not tell the full story. Upon closer examination, you will find that the team finished first in catches, putouts, assists and double plays, while finishing second in stolen base attempt percentage. These numbers tell the story of a team that sprung at every chance they could to make big defensive plays, winning the moment to moment battles that the overall stats do not always convey. 

On top of fielding excellence, this year’s baseball team boasts some of the best talent the school has had the pleasure of witnessing. The one-two punch of Jack Thomson ’23 and Brennen Davis ’25 have been terrorizing the conference. Both players finished top 15 in the conference for batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage and on-base-plus-slugging percentage. 

Thomson in particular left his mark, placing first in three out of the four categories and fifth in batting average. Thomson has ended his tenure at LC placing top 30-20 nationwide for Division III in nearly every category his game was suited to. Davis’ only finish outside of the top ten was his 11th place position in batting average. Additionally,Will Heron finished first in the conference in putouts. 

Utility player Jack Savant ’23 said he enjoyed the team’s camaraderie this year, and feels that it contributed to the team’s successful season. 

“There’s a tangible difference in how our team has operated not only on a confidence level, but in a sort of, like accountability level, in comparison to other years,” Savant said. “ I know there were seniors when they were freshmen that were great in sort of creating a really, really cohesive environment and that has only grown into something closer and closer over the years. And I think that just the family that we have, and that Coach Kosderka and the coaching staff sort of creates, it has been something that has been really, really special.” 

Being a senior, Savant has had the opportunity to grow closer to many of his teammates over the years.

“I think that we have just an incredible group of teammates,” Savant said. “We have some really, really special players up and down the board, pitchers and hitters everywhere … I think that my success comes from having the love that I have and the trust that I have in my teammates.”

Catcher Joaquin Sandoval ’26 has also been grateful to join such a cohesive team this year. 

“From day one, I felt very, very involved right away,encouraged to be one of the guys and just a part of the team,” Sandoval said. “Our leaders on the team and our coaches established our core pillars of the program pretty early. So that’s been embedded in me all year. And I feel like I kind of just walked right in and got started. It was really a welcoming experience for sure.”

This team relationship not only has benefits in terms of cohesion, but also dedication to the game.

“I’d be spending time with the team in the locker room before and after practice, just getting ready and winding down, assessing the day, breaking down the teams we’re going to play this week, and how everyone’s days go,” Sandoval said. “And it’s super nice to just have those connections and be able to converse with my teammates like that in a casual setting.”

For Sandoval, particular moments this season have highlighted the utility of interpersonal chemistry.

“We had a walk off, come back against Whitman earlier this season,” Sandoval said. “That was really awesome. That was a fun experience. And everyone was on the field dogpiling. And that actually ended up in the long run, helping us out and placed us higher in the bracket. So the little things like that made a big difference.”

As for the future of the team, both Savant and Sandoval expressed hope for continued success in following seasons. 

“I definitely don’t think this is like a one and done thing,” Savant said. “I think that it’s like something that we can totally build on. Even landing right now at 26 and 11, I believe 15 games above 500, I still think that there were some opportunities that we missed.”

Savant left his closing thoughts on the team’s future.

“I’m really looking forward to taking up a leadership role,” Sandoval said. “… I have complete confidence in the program. I don’t think we’ll have an issue carrying on the culture.”

Additional reporting by Venus Edlin.

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