Lakeside eyes repeat as state champs

June 8, 2010

By Bob Taylor

Shane Yarnell, who returns to Lakeside Recovery this season, pitches to a Bellevue Baseball Club batter during a 2009 American Legion game. By Christopher Huber

Many people get tired of watching reruns during the summer. Rob Reese, however, wouldn’t mind viewing another rerun of the Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion baseball team’s summer of 2009.

Lakeside Recovery finished 2009 as the hottest AAA legion team in the state. The club won the state championship by beating teams that were highly regarded.

Lakeside Recovery advanced to the Pacific Northwest regionals, where it finished second despite missing some key players. All in all, it was a banner season for Lakeside Recovery, one of the oldest Senior legion programs in the state.

“We got hot at just the right time and we’re swinging the bats well going into the state tournament. Hopefully, we’ll have another pretty good year,” said Reese, who during the school year is Issaquah High School’s head baseball coach.

Reese said he believes Lakeside Recovery has the potential to repeat its state championship. The club has a strong outfield and pitching staff.

The outfield features Issaquah High’s Spencer Rogers and Mike Paulson, Skyline’s Sean Penberthy and Newport’s Victor King.

Rogers comes off an outstanding senior season at Issaquah. He led the 4A KingCo Conference in hitting and was selected as the league’s Player of the Year. He also had a spectacular 2009 legion season, earning the state tournament’s MVP award.

“He is one of the best players in the state,” Reese said of Rogers, who will play for the University of Washington next year.

Paulson had a strong season for Issaquah, hitting .414.

“All our outfielders have good arms and swing the bats well. Our outfield is one of the strongest areas on our team,” Reese said.The pitching staff is headed by Issaquah High’s Shane Yarnell, who earned all-KingCo first team honors this spring. Rogers and Paulson also pitch.

The staff also includes Matt Houser, Ethan Kalin and Brandon Mahovlich, of Issaquah; Connor Lawhead and Adrian Sampson, of Skyline; and Cole Wiper, Jared Fisher and Joey Gale, of Newport.

Sampson, who missed almost the entire 2009 legion season and the whole 2010 high school season because of an injury, would really bolster the staff. Reese said he expects Sampson to be able to pitch later this month. Before in the injury, Sampson was one of the premier pitchers in the KingCo Conference, earning all-league honors for two years straight.

“I really think pitching is the strength of the team,” Reese said. “We have a lot of depth and quality.”

The infield will consist of newcomers. Nick Clifford, from Newport, and Fisher will play at first base. Dan Spray, of Newport, and Mikey Smith, of Skyline, are the second basemen. Kyle Goemmer, of Newport, figures to be the shortstop. Marcus Gaan, of Issaquah, and Reid Dilley, of Newport, are the third basemen.

Dan Altchech, of Newport; Jim Sinatro, of Skyline, and Mahovlich will handle the catching chores.

As usual, Lakeside will play a demanding schedule, competing in several tournaments, before entering the post-season legion competition.

“I think we have a pretty good club again,” Reese said. “We will need some guys to step up like we had last year and have big seasons. If they do, we should have a good season.”

Bob Taylor: 392-6434, ext. 236, bobtaylor@isspress.com. Comment at www.isspress.com.

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