By Ben • Ben Schorzman • 

Paterson visits, a grab bag of other topics

What a rough stretch of basketball for Linfield.

Fans of the Wildcats hoops programs must be cringing every time they read the box scores of Linfield’s exploits in the Northwest Conference. The men’s program, despite boasting the conference’s leading scorer in Andrew Batiuk, is 3-15 and 2-7 in the NWC. The Wildcats have lost four games in a row, including two embarrassing losses last weekend on the road in Eastern Washington.

Things are even worse on the women’s side. The Wildcats are 1-13 and 0-8 in the NWC. They haven’t won a game since defeating Northwest Christian on Dec. 8. Linfield has lost eight games in a row.

What must be frustrating, though, for women’s coach Robin Potera-Haskins is that the Wildcats aren’t getting boat raced. Their only truly bad loss was a 20-point blowout Jan. 4 at home vs. ranked George Fox. Their other losses in conference have all been pretty respectable.

Here are a few things to keep an eye on as the Wildcats hoops teams finish their final eight games of the season:

The worst season in Linfield women’s basketball history was when the Wildcats finished 3-22 in 1990-91. Linfield was 0-12 that season in conference play. Look for the Wildcats to at least try and avoid the dubious honor of topping the worst season in program history.

Meanwhile, the men’s team could end up posting back-to-back 20-loss seasons, which would be a first in program history. Last year’s team was the first team in Wildcats men’s basketball history to lose 20 games, and with seven games to go this year, Linfield is five losses away from equaling that feat.

Paterson back in Mac

Joe Paterson, a 2004 McMinnville High School graduate and current professional baseball player, was back in town this week to give instruction to local baseball players from the grad school level to high school. Paterson held his annual camp at Patton Middle School on Monday and drew a good group of eager baseball players.

Paterson, as you might know, was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Rule 5 draft in 2010. He played one full season with the Diamondbacks in 2011, posting a 2.91 ERA in 34 innings mainly as a left-handed specialist.

Last season Paterson again started in the Major Leagues but was demoted to Triple A after a rough start to the season. With Arizona’s top minor league team — the Reno Aces — Paterson was 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA with two saves in 43 1/3 innings.

Helfrich vs. Linfield

Chip Kelly’s replacement at the University of Oregon was named Sunday, and it was Ducks’ offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

Helfrich was first hired by Oregon in 2009 and is a native Oregonian. He went to high school on the South Coast in the town of Coos Bay. He graduated from Marshfield High School in 1992 and went on to play quarterback at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

At SOU, Helfrich led the nation in total offense in 1993 and was an NAIA honorable mention All-American. He accounted for 3,196 yards that season, including 2,712 yards passing and 23 touchdowns. Despite the success, Helfrich could never beat Linfield (Linfield and SOU were in the same league at the time). He was 0-4 vs. the ’Cats in his time in Ashland.

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