With two weeks remaining in the regular season the Grinnell College baseball team has already established a school record for wins. The Pioneers are 26-4 overall and 12-0 in the Midwest Conference after a four-game sweep of Illinois College over the weekend.
“I don’t think any coach really goes into it thinking records and stuff like that”, said Grinnell coach Tim Hollibaugh. “We had a lot of experience coming back and we had pitching depth so we knew we would be in a position to have success but the consistency of this team has been surprising more than anything else.”
Outstanding starting pitching has been the key. Opponents are hitting only .239 and the trio of senior starters Sam Tinkham, Graham Fisher and John Essig are a combined 16-2.
“You know you are going to get six or seven innings if not more and that is how you stay consistent.”
Five of the Pioneers’ 12 league wins have come via shutout and Grinnell also leads virtually every major offensive category and has a team batting average of .321.
Grinnell returns to action May fifth against Midwest Conference rival Cornell College. While a 10 day layoff at this point of the season is not ideal, Hollibaugh says it will allow his team to get some rest and he will be able to set up his rotation for the stretch run.
“We have a couple of reserve games that will give our short relievers opportunities to stay competitive but it really allows us to line things up like we want.”