Leading the Tigers in their 4-0 win against La Verne on Sunday, pitcher Scott Ericksen (junior) had a fantastic game, pitching a complete game shut out.
Ericksen has been a consistent pitcher for Oxy. Though he started his career as an outfielder, Ericksen found his place at the mound. Head coach Luke Wetmore spoke highly of his performance this season.
“Scott’s development on the mound has been exciting to watch … if he continues to develop he will be one of the best arms in our conference next year,” Wetmore said via email.
Wetmore went on to describe Ericksen’s pitching during the challenging games.
“He threw about 50 more pitches than he has all year, pitched into and out of trouble all day and asked for the ball in the 8th and 9th innings,” Wetmore said. “He knew what was at stake and wanted to do his part to help his team finish the season strong.”
Ericksen, who traditionally pitches as a closer, pitched all nine innings, throwing 117 pitches, 79 of which were strikes. While on the mound, Ericksen induced inning-ending double plays in four separate innings.
A humble star and dedicated teammate, Ericksen notes how the Tigers have gotten him to where he is now.
“I’ve been working this season on trying to increase my stamina on the mound and I finally got the shot,” Ericksen said. “With the help of my teammates behind me, it helped a lot to know that they believe in me as much as I believe in them.”
Ericksen is proud of his team for coming back strong after a hard season last year. He expressed sadness for the seniors leaving, but kept an overall joyful outlook on the season.
“I’d say this team is probably the best group of guys I’ve played with, ever.” Ericksen said. “The seniors are going to be dearly missed, their leadership has helped us turn around from a tough year last year and it’s going to be tough losing them.”
As the season draws close to the end, Wetmore is proud of Ericksen’s effort in this season, and looks forward to what else he will do.
“A truly impressive performance against a very good team,” Wetmore said. “I am excited to see what he’ll do for us next year.”
Katie Gibbs (senior) was a high scorer in last weekend’s SCIAC women’s water polo championship tournament. The Tigers took home 6th place in the SCIAC tournament after two big wins against Caltech and Redlands and two tough loses against Pomona-Pitzer and La Verne.
“The team is amazing. I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls and coaches to have by my side,” Gibbs said after the tournament.
Gibbs scored a hat trick in a 17-3 rout against Caltech and was a clutch player in a 12-11 win against Redlands. With 47 seconds left in the second overtime, Gibbs scored the winning goal.
Gibbs noted that the Redlands win was the pinnacle of her Oxy career.
“The win against Redlands was by far the highlight of my water polo career,” Gibbs said. “Every girl on the team was playing well and all the pieces seemed to come together. It was not an easy win, but a testament to how hard we have been working all season.”
The match, one to go down in the history of women’s polo here at Occidental, was high dramatic and exciting. Head coach John Bonafede complimented Gibbs’ hard work in the pool.
“Simply put, Katie was incredible in the SCIAC tournament,” Bonafede said via email. “She dominated every player she guarded and led her teammates to an inspiring overtime win against Redlands. Her work ethic, passion and leadership will continue to define our program for years to come.”