By Sam Vella
Tuesday February 25, 2014
It’s obvious that there are some very high expectations for the San Rafael Pacifics in the upcoming 2014 season. Entering their 3rd year in the Pacific Association Division, the San Rafael Pacifics are coming off a heartbreaking loss to second place Na Koa Ikaika Maui in the Championship game last year. Although they came in first place in league play with a 54-21 record, they lost 6-1.
Newly hired manager Dan DiPace has a lot to look forward to this upcoming season when he looks at his starting rotation and bullpen. With a mixture of younger players and more seasoned veterans, coach DiPace had this to say, “The team this season has a combination of veterans and young guys. The goal is to have these young guys learn from the veterans and give them a chance to move on.”
One of the first pitchers in the Pacifics’ rotation, who will need to have another great year, is their ace a season ago, Logan Odom. Last year he led the team in strikeouts (100) and innings pitched (100.2). Starting 13 games this past year Odom had a record of 9-3 and ended with a 2.32 ERA. Another starter that had an impressive year last year is left hander Bennett Whitmore. He had 3 complete games striking out 35 in 94.2 innings pitched and a 9-3 record. He finished the year with a 3.23 ERA and opponents hit a measly .263 against him. One more starter to look to for a breakout year is right-hander Tyler Pearson from Ukiah, CA. Although he only started 10 games in 2013 he still managed to put up impressive numbers with 79 strikeouts in only 69.1 innings pitched. He finished the year with a 2.07 ERA, a notable 8-2 record and led all starters striking out on average 10.25 batters per 9 innings pitched.
The starting rotation is no doubt impressive, but there are also quality pitchers in the bullpen. One in particular is their closer Colin Allen. Last year he led the team with a 1.62 ERA and had 15 saves while striking out 35 batters.
All in all, the Pacifics’ much anticipated season will come down to how the pitchers perform. If they can, expect the Pacifics to be back in the Championship game in 2014.