Liberty takes down Issaquah 8-4 in rainy battle

March 22, 2011

The Liberty High School baseball team took down the rival Issaquah Eagles, 8-4, March 18 at Liberty High School. The game started dry, but rain came in the third inning and didn’t let up, and eventually led to the game being stopped after the top of the fifth inning.

Jacob Hofferber, Liberty senior pitcher, throws out of a jam during the increasingly wet third inning March 18 against Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

Liberty is now 2-1 for the year, and Issaquah is 0-3.

“This is a huge win for us, huge rivalry,” said Chris Weik, Liberty’s second baseman. “It’s a good start.”

Liberty’s offense found its stride in the second inning, with first baseman Ben Wessel knocking a 2-0 pitch to center field for a single.

After pairs of strikeouts and walks, Liberty center fielder Scott Zerda came to the plate with the bases loaded. The count stretched to 3-2, but Issaquah pitcher Andrew Kemmerer threw ball four, walking in the first run of the game.

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Lakeside holds tryouts

August 10, 2010

The Lakeside Baseball Club holds makeup tryouts from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at Newport High School. For more information, e-mail coach Rob Reese at

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Centralia dashes Lakeside’s hopes for repeat title

August 3, 2010

Lakeside Recovery survived thunder and lightning, but the Senior team just didn’t have enough electricity to energize its way to another AAA American Legion state championship.

The Centralia Lizards ended Lakeside Recovery’s hopes of a second-straight title July 29 by winning 10-6 in a loser-out game at Selah.

Lakeside Recovery, which ended the season with a 22-20 mark, also lost its opener July 28 to the Spokane Bandits 8-6.

“We were playing well going into the tournament. I felt good about our chances,” Lakeside Recovery coach Rob Reese said. Read more

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Lakeside returns to state tourney as favorite

July 27, 2010

Marcus Gaan, Lakeside Recovery second baseman (right) attempts the tag, as John Schmedding of the Spokane Cannons squirms around him and is called safe on a steal in the second inning July 24 at Bannerwood Park. By Greg Farrar

Lakeside Recovery coach Rob Reese has his senior American Legion baseball team rolling again and at just the right time.

Despite a dubious beginning, Lakeside Recovery is headed to the AAA state tournament with hope of defending its championship.

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Lakeside Recovery baseball team reaches state tournament

July 26, 2010

NEW — 3:40 p.m. July 26, 2010

The Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion baseball team is headed for the  AAA state tournament again.

The defending state champions earned a berth in the tournament Sunday by beating the Kennewick Bandits 10-7 in a sub-regional game at Bellevue’s Bannerwood Park.

Record-wise, Lakeside Recovery enters the state tournament with a modest 22-18 mark.

Lakeside Recovery won two contests at the sub-regional.

In the opening round July 24, Lakeside Recovery defeated the Spokane Cannons 6-5. Issaquah High School graduate Shane Yarnell provided Lakeside Recovery with clutch relief pitching. He blanked the Cannons over the three final innings to protect a one-run lead. Mikey Smith, of Skyline, had three hits and drove in two runs to lead Lakeside Recovery. Issaquah graduate Spencer Rogers also had two hits and drove in a run.

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A major league homecoming

July 13, 2010

Issaquah grad Colin Curtis, now a New York Yankee, plays in Seattle for first time as major leaguer

Colin Curtis, former Issaquah High School baseball standout, takes batting practice July 8 at Safeco Field, before his New York Yankees meet the Seattle Mariners in the first game in front of his hometown fans. By Greg Farrar

Fifteen years ago, had Colin Curtis known he would someday become a major league outfielder, he would have said, “perfect, my plan is going to work.” At least that is what Curtis, now 25, said with a laugh when asked what his reaction would have been.

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Lakeside engineers comeback to remain unbeaten in tourney

July 13, 2010

Lakeside’s Mikey Smith strokes a single in the first inning against the Twin City Titans July 8 at Bannerwood Park. He later scored on a Sean Penberthy single. By Christopher Huber

By the end of the top of the first inning July 8, the Lakeside Recovery baseball club already had an uphill battle. The Twin City Titans had scored four runs on five hits off starting pitcher Shane Yarnell, including an RBI double and RBI triple.

But thanks to shaky pitching from Mike Dunford and a couple of clutch hits from the middle of the lineup, Lakeside tied at 4-4 to end the first in its second game of the Brandy Pugh Memorial Tournament at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.

Lakeside improved to 2-0 in the tournament after beating the Titans 7-5 in the 90-plus degree late-afternoon heat.

“It was a great win,” said head coach Rob Reese. “The key was, we didn’t stay behind.”

At first, Yarnell struggled to reign in the Twin City bats and Lakeside fielders bobbled three easy grounders. Yarnell gave up one more run in the second, but by the third inning, he hit his stride. Lakeside’s fielding also bounced back.

“After the first two, I started mixing it up a lot more,” Yarnell said.

Yarnell gave up just one earned run and struck out four Twin City batters. He retired 10 straight batters to end the game, too. His changeup was the most effective, he said. He forced a mix of pop-ups and grounders, but all routine outs.

“It’s cool once you get on a roll,” he said. “I felt like I couldn’t miss the zone.” Read more

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Baseball town

June 29, 2010

America’s favorite pastime has long been among Issaquah’s most popular activities

Long before motorists began speeding westward on Interstate 90 to Safeco Field for Seattle Mariners’ games, even before the designated hitter became a position, baseball was thriving in Issaquah.

America’s pastime has been one of the favorite pastimes of Issaquah residents since the early days of the community.

Old timers, recalling memories of their early years in the Issaquah Historical Society, often mention the fascination local residents had about baseball.

In the 1920s and 1930s, if children didn’t have a field to play ball on, it was no problem. They just picked sides and played in the streets. Of course, this was long before Humvees came roaring down Front Street.

Often, residents gathered to watch Issaquah town teams. In the early years of the 20th century, many small towns had amateur teams that played against other small town amateur teams.

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Lakeside eyes repeat as state champs

June 8, 2010

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. Read more

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Spencer Rogers uses all five tools to earn player of the year

June 1, 2010

Issaquah High School baseball coach Rob Reese couldn’t have asked more from Spencer Rogers this spring.

Spencer Rogers

Rogers, a senior, capped his high school career in a spectacular fashion. He led the 4A KingCo Conference in hitting with a .494 average and topped the league in runs scored with 32. He played flawless defense in center field.

On the mound, Rogers ranked among the league’s top pitchers in wins (five), earned run average (1.92) and strikeouts (49). He was also used as closer, racking up two saves.

In a league that had many outstanding players, Rogers was the guy KingCo coaches tabbed as the Player of the Year.

“I think the award was well-deserved,” Reese said. “Offensively, he just had a great year. He can hit to all fields. He runs the bases well. Defensively, he is one of the best center fielders in the state. As a pitcher, he is just a fierce competitor.”

As a hitter and outfielder, Rogers draws comparisons to former Issaquah standout Colin Curtis, who starred at Arizona State University before embarking on a pro career in the New York Yankees’ organization.

Rogers, who signed a national letter of intent with the University of Washington, will likely play in the outfield for the Huskies.

“They are going to get a good one,” Reese said. “We’ve had some outstanding players over the years and Spencer certainly ranks among the best we’ve had.”

In addition to Rogers, Issaquah had another player selected to the 4A KingCo first team — pitcher/designated hitter Shane Yarnell Read more

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