Lakeside Recovery is Legion state champ once again

August 4, 2009

By Christopher Huber

Spencer Rogers, of Lakeside Recovery, works the count before unleashing an RBI-double June 19 at Bannerwood Park. Rogers was selected the American Legion state tournament offensive MVP as his team won the AAA state title July 29 in Tacoma. File

Spencer Rogers, of Lakeside Recovery, works the count before unleashing an RBI-double June 19 at Bannerwood Park. Rogers was selected the American Legion state tournament offensive MVP as his team won the AAA state title July 29 in Tacoma. File

Lakeside Recovery starting pitcher Colin Hering’s performance in the first inning of the Legion state championship seemed to set the tone for a win against the Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Hering struck out two and forced a pop-up to retire the side, averting catastrophe. His clutch pitching and timely hitting by teammates carried the Lakeside Club to the American Legion AAA state title July 29 with an 8-0 victory against Yakima Valley at Tacoma’s Heidelberg Park.

Lakeside, 33-12-1 for the season, advances to the Senior Legion Northwest Regional Tournament Aug. 6-10 in Medford, Ore.

“I thought things went really well,” said Lakeside pitcher Shane Yarnell. “Every starting pitcher performed. They didn’t get pulled before five innings. I felt like the pitching performance was good. We got out of a lot of jams.”

This year’s title win was the sixth for longtime Lakeside head coach Rob Reese.

“Anytime you can win a state championship and move on is exciting,” he said. “We got great pitching (July 29) from Colin Hering.”Hering, a Newport High School graduate, went 7.1 innings and had eight strikeouts. He walked just two batters. He improved to 5-2 on the season.

Lakeside outfielder Spencer Rogers, a senior-to-be at Issaquah High School in the fall, went 3-for-5. Rogers and Issaquah graduate Mario Sanelli each hit solo home runs in the third inning to give Lakeside a 2-0 lead. Lakeside scored three more runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and one run in the eighth.

Rogers was selected as the tournament offensive MVP. Joining him on the all-tournament team were teammates Yarnell, Sanelli and Kevon Zadeh.

“We didn’t explode, but one at a time. And eventually, it was 8-0 and it was kind of over,” Reese said. “The state tournament is a tough tournament. All eight teams are pretty dang good. We were hot at the right time.”

Skyline High School’s Ryan Somers went 1-for-5 in the final, scoring one of the team’s eight runs. Teammate and fellow Spartan Shawn Ellis went 2-for-5 and Newport’s Zadeh and Victor King each had two RBIs.

Lakeside, which finished as the only undefeated team in the tournament, walloped the Twin City Titans 12-2 July 28 to reach the championship round. Yakima Valley made it to the title game after it knocked out pre-tournament favorite Kennewick Bandits 15-3 July 28 in a loser-out game.

Yarnell, of Issaquah High, had one of his best performances of the season in Lakeside’s 16-0 day-three victory over the Bandits. Yarnell, 8-3 on the season, struck out only two batters, but he held Kennewick to three hits and didn’t walk a batter. He also threw just 82 pitches in hurling a complete game.

Zadeh led the offense with four hits and five RBIs. Somers; Hering, of Newport; and Devin O’Donnell, of Issaquah; each had three hits.

Lakeside defeated Yakima Valley 4-3 in a 13-inning battle July 26 in the second round and beat Centralia 8-5 in the opening round of the state tournament.

Lakeside went into the tournament braced for tough competition and strategizing how to best use its limited pitching staff — both Blake Fulhgum and Adrian Sampson are out with injuries.

The guys relied on hot bats and focused pitching to take control of each game.

“It felt like we kind of dominated every team, pretty much,” Yarnell said after the title win.

Lakeside plays the California state champ in the first round of the 2009 Northwest regional tournament Aug. 6 in Medford, Ore.

On the Web

Go to www.baseball.legion.org/2009/ livereg.php to follow live game box scores.

Reach Reporter Christopher Huber at 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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