Jackson pitching staff working on control issues | Baseball

Timberwolves preparing to make postseason push
By David Pan | Apr 20, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Jackson’s Alec Schuldt pitches to the Bruins. Schuldt has been one of the Wolfpack’s most effective pitchers this season.

Jackson is playing catch up like the rest of the Wesco 4A’s baseball teams.

Weather has created havoc throughout the league with the Timberwolves scheduled to play 10 games in two weeks due to rainouts. One contest has been postponed three times.

The question facing the Timberwolves is whether their pitching staff is up for the challenge.

It all depends on whether Jackson’s pitchers throw strikes.

For the most part, they did in the Wolfpack’s league opening series victories over Glacier Peak – 2-0 and 8-1 – in late March and a 5-0 win over Mount Vernon on Friday, April 6.

But in losses to Mount Vernon (5-4 on Monday, April 9) and especially against Cascade (7-6 on Wednesday, April 11), the Timberwolves had problems finding the strike zone. Jackson ended up walking in the winning run against the Bruins.

“Two games we lose in the bottom of the seventh (Mount Vernon and Cascade),” Jackson coach Kirk Nicholson said. “If we get better in the late innings, we’ll do all right. If we throw strikes, we’re all right.”

The Wolfpack issued eight walks to Cascade in the last two innings and saw a 6-4 lead in the sixth inning turn into a 7-6 loss.

While Nicholson said that the performance of the relief staff was less than stellar, he praised senior Alec Schuldt, who pitched five strong innings. He left the game due to his pitch count.

“He’s had a real good year,” Nicholson said. “He’s made himself into a good pitcher. He’s done a really nice job for us.”

Schuldt allowed only two hits to the Grizzlies in the 8-1 victory and allowed three hits in the 5-0 victory over the Bulldogs.

Nicholson said that Schuldt has been in control of all of his pitches this season, not just his fastball.

The senior class, led by center fielder Carter Booth and first baseman Addison Beckman – have been leading the way for Jackson, Nicholson added.

“Both have been outstanding,” he said.

Third baseman/designated hitter Diego Altamirano also is having a solid season at the plate and in the field, Nicholson said.

Nicholson is looking to junior catcher Ben Steck to help him with the pitching staff in the coming weeks.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Nicholson said. “He’s one of the best I’ve ever had.”

Nicholson and his staff have worked to make it easier for the Wolfpack staff by reducing the number of pitches they throw.

“We’re cutting some things down,” Nicholson said. “Instead of throwing five pitches, let’s find two pitches we can throw really well. Keep it simple. If we do that, we can certainly help them feel more comfortable on the mound.”

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