Eastside Catholic pitcher Alex Foley named state athlete of the week

April 24, 2012

By Erica Thompson

Alex Foley, of Issaquah, pitches during a stretch of baseball games earlier this month for Eastside Catholic High School that garnered him a statewide honor from the WIAA. Contributed

Alex Foley, junior baseball player for Eastside Catholic High School, was named WIAA male state athlete of the week for April 1-7.

With an earned-run average of 0.88 and 23 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched, he led his 3A team to three victories against O’Dea, Skyline and Chief Sealth high schools.

“It’s a real honor, I really didn’t expect it,” said Foley, an Issaquah resident who was recognized for his outstanding performance both as a pitcher and batter. “I haven’t really been thinking about anything but helping the team (and) getting some wins.”

Foley also aided his team in the batter’s box with seven RBIs and a slugging percentage of .588. The WIAA athletes of the week are elected from nominations by school athletic directors.

“Alex is a true competitor,” Eastside Catholic baseball coach Kyle Larsen wrote in an email. “He competes every time he takes the field, whether that is on the mound or at the plate, and his teammates feed off of that.”

The team is second to only Seattle Prep, which remains undefeated, in the Metro-Mountain Conference standings.

“I’m really excited about the start that the team and Alex are off to,” Larsen said. “It can be tough to have a new coach come in and have everything change from the year before, but these guys haven’t missed a beat and are really buying in to what we are trying to do this year.”

The team boasts an 8-4 overall record.

“I think we have really good chemistry,” Foley said. “A lot of people were doubting us this year, but I think we are turning a lot of heads and surprising a lot of people.”

Foley’s love for the game started at a young age, when he began playing T-ball 12 years ago.

“He’s such a good kid and it’s nice to see him be recognized for his effort and for the work ethic he’s put into his baseball career,” said Rhonda Bunker, Foley’s mother. “I’m proud of him not only as a baseball player but the human being that he’s become.”

Foley said he hopes to continue to play baseball in college while studying business and economics, and get drafted soon after.

“Alex has a great chance to go as far as he wants in the game,” Larsen said. “He’s an athletic left-hander that has the right mentality and love for the game.”

Bunker has similar expectations for her son’s future.

“My hope … is that he’s happy, that he’s grounded and he’s doing what he enjoys,” she said. “Whether that’s baseball or something else, I just want him to be happy. I’m his mom.”

Larsen said he does not do anything specific to make his athletes stand out, but that with the right mix of talent and will to work hard they stand out on their own.

“I just try to push all the guys to play to the best of their abilities,” Larsen said. “And make sure they know that this is a team game, and they owe it to their teammates and their school to play as hard as they can day in and day out.”

And that is exactly what Foley has done.

“I feel like I am a leader and I just have a special love for the game,” Foley said. “I’m never bored with it, I’m always looking forward to practice and I just like being around the guys. It’s a lot of fun.”

Erica Thompson a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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