By Oscar Duyck, Sports Editor

Cleveland baseball has been somewhat of a wild ride these last few weeks. The team has experienced both the thrill of victory and the languish of defeat in near equal parts. This has put the team in baseball purgatory, unsure if they can receive a playoff berth. In either case, this team has improved from its sluggish start. The team continues to be led by senior slugger Cray Hamilton and junior ace pitcher Eli Morse.

The start of league play gave the Warriors an impressive start. A 3-0 start put the team on top in the PIL. And they won in dominating fashion, defeating Madison 10-2, and taking down Grant 8-4. They then preceded to earn another victory against Grant 4-3.  After their strong showing, they were nominated team of the week by Oregon Live.

At this juncture, the season seemed to be turning around, but then as sophomore player Quinn Samolidis put it, “the wheels fell off.” The team went on a downward, self-defeating spiral, losing three straight games to Madison and Roosevelt. Suddenly the red hot Warriors found themselves at 500 in league play and the buzz surrounding the team quieted.

Luckily for the Warriors, they had the good fortune of playing three straight games against hapless Benson, a team that has yet to register a win this calendar year. The Warriors then pounded the poor Techmen, 21-0, 16-2, 8-1, respectively. The ship seemed to be righted.

The Warriors followed up their three straight wins with two losses, both to Wilson. With an overall record of 8-10, and an overall ranking of 43 in 6A,  the Warriors’ playoff hopes are in jeopardy.

“At the beginning of the season, we were optimistic. Now it is looking less and less likely. But we are not out of it yet,” said junior Noah Elkin.

Samolidis said, “I think we have a shot at state.” He said he is feeling “more confident,” of his team’s chances as they continue to improve every game.

“The upcoming games will tell,” said Terrell Cunningham, junior. This is certainly true as the Warriors need to win against Lincoln, the top team in the PIL, and rival Franklin if they want to qualify for playoffs.

The Clarion reached out for comment from head coach Robbie Trebelhorn, but never received a response.