Skyline grad signs with Bellingham Bells

January 24, 2012

Seattle University catcher Ryan Somers, a former Skyline High School baseball standout, has signed with the Bellingham Bells for the 2012 season.

The Bells are a summer, wood-bat, collegiate baseball team that plays in the West Coast League.

Somers is currently a redshirt sophomore at Seattle University. He redshirted for the Redhawks in 2010 before becoming a regular in 2011, when he played in 40 games, starting 27 of them. During the summer of 2011 with the Bells, he played in 10 games and hit .280 with a double and two RBIs.

Bellingham pitching coach Jim Clem is looking forward to another summer with Somers on the team.

“Ryan joined us late last summer and played well during the short time he was with us. We think highly of Ryan and are pleased to have him back on our roster. He’s an athletic kid that gives us a lot of flexibility due to his ability to play multiple positions,” Clem said.

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Matt Wickswat ends season with win

September 20, 2011

Issaquah grad Matt Wickswat concluded his season with a victory Sept. 4 when he pitched the Class A Winston-Salem Dash to a 5-4 win against Lynchburg, Va. Wickswat, a Chicago White Sox farmhand, went seven innings, struck out six and allowed just one earned run. He finished the season with a 6-6 record, 84 strikeouts in 91.2 innings, and a 4.03 earned run average.

Julian Sampson, a Skyline grad, compiled a 10-5 record with a 3.92 earned run average for the independent Brockton, Mass., Rox of the Can-Am League this season.

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Good news: Bears win second state title in a row

August 9, 2011

Mark Gray has a knack for being associated with championship teams. After all, he starred on title teams in football and baseball during his Issaquah High School days.

Mark Gray (right), Bears coach, sends baserunner Nate Gibson home for a run on a teammate’s single during a game July 10. By Jim Boyle

The past two summers, he has also been head coach of the Field of Champions Bears baseball team, which has accomplished a rarity for local teams in recent years. The Bears have won two state championships in a row.

This summer, the Bears captured the Mickey Mantle 15U state title. Basically, the same group won the 14U state Sandy Koufax championship the previous summer.

“They are a great bunch of kids,” Gray said.

The team is mostly Issaquah and Skyline high school players. The Bears went 19-2 in league action this summer and posted a 4-1 record at the state tournament. In the championship game, the Bears defeated the Puget Sound Shockers, 8-0, at Redmond’s Hartman Park.

“The Shockers had beaten us three times this season. I guess the fourth time was the charm,” Gray said.

Outfielder Mitchell Morimoto, who played on Issaquah High’s varsity team last spring as a freshman, was selected as the state tournament’s most valuable player. Outfielder Derek Chapman and outfielder-pitcher Tommy Medawar, of Issaquah; and pitcher-first baseman Drew Lunde, outfielder Bradley Hoss and pitcher Nate Gibson, of Skyline, were selected to the tournament all-star team with Morimoto.

“Morimoto had a great tournament and Gibson was just dominating on the mound,” Gray said.

While the Bears had strong pitching at state, they also hit the ball with authority. In one game, the Bears hit five home runs.

“We had a strong lineup. One through nine, every one of the kids could hit,” Gray said.

Although the Bears qualified for the 15U Mickey Mantle World Series, the club elected not to participate in the tournament.

“We felt they had played enough baseball this year, and it was time for them to get ready for football season,” Gray said.

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Lakeside run to state finale falls short of title

August 9, 2011

The Lakeside Recovery 17U baseball team lost a showdown with District II rival Woodinville, 9-7, Aug. 7 in the state AA American Legion championship game at Spokane’s Gonzaga Prep.

Lakeside Recovery held a 7-3 lead through six innings, but Woodinville rallied behind home runs from Matt Laitala and Caleb Hamilton.

The Falcons scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Lakeside Recovery. Matt Laitala supplied the big blow with a three-run home run that put Woodinville ahead, 8-7. Caleb Hamilton followed with a solo shot.

Daniel Rawlings, of Issaquah High School, had two hits, drove in a run and scored a run to lead Lakeside Recovery. Patrick Harrod, of Skyline, had one hit and scored twice.

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Julian Sampson is rolling with the Brockton Rox

August 9, 2011

Julian Sampson, a former Skyline High School star, has put together some gems as a pitcher for the Brockton, Mass., Rox of the independent Can-Am League.

On Aug. 2, he hurled five scoreless innings and struck out four as the Rox defeated the New York Federals, 8-0.

On Aug. 7, Sampson worked seven innings and allowed just two hits as Brockton belted the Rockland Boulders, 9-2.

Sampson, a former Philadelphia Phillies’ prospect, is 7-3 with a 3.96 earned run average this season.

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Lakeside Recovery 17-U wins regional tourney, heads to state

August 2, 2011

Danny Rawlings, of Lakeside Recovery 17-U, hits during the fifth inning July 28 against the Renton Cannons. He doubled and reached home in the fourth inning on a sacrifice RBI by Ioannis Kritsonis in the 6-3 victory. By Greg Farrar

When Mark Thorpe was assembling his Lakeside Recovery 17-U baseball team, he had a hunch it was state-tournament caliber. Thorpe’s hunch proved accurate.

The Lakeside Recovery 17-U team is playing in the American Legion AA state tournament this week at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane. The club opened tournament play Aug. 2 against Mead.

Classified as the Lakeside Recovery Baseball Club’s junior team, the 17-U group has had an amazing season to date. The team, mostly Issaquah and Newport high school players, entered the state tournament with a 39-18 record. Lakeside Recovery 17-U won the District II Divisional tournament last week at Bannerwood.

In the title game, Lakeside Recovery 17-U defeated the Renton Cannons, a team composed of Liberty High School players, 6-3. The Cannons, who surprised Woodinville, 10-6, in a consolation game, also qualified for state but decided not to participate because the team did not have enough players. Woodinville replaced the Cannons as the District II No. 2 team.

Lakeside Recovery 17-U opened the district tournament July 26 with a 15-5 rout of Bellevue Legion. Then on July 27, Lakeside Recovery 17-U edged Woodinville, 4-3, in an eight-inning battle.

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Lakeside Recovery bid for state falls short

July 26, 2011

Lakeside Recovery’s Mike Paulson, shown in a July 8 baseball game, pitched nine strong innings July 21 against the Spokane Blue Devils during the American Legion AAA Super Regional Tournament. By Greg Farrar

The baseball season ended a bit sooner than usual for Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion team.

Lakeside Recovery, for just the second time in 16 years, failed to qualify for the AAA state tournament when it lost two games July 21 in a Super Regional Tournament at Bellevue’s Bannerwood Park.

After overcoming a variety of adversities throughout the summer, Lakeside Recovery manager Rob Reese liked his team’s chances of reaching state tournament when it entered the regional last week. Things looked promising July 20 when Lakeside Recovery, the regional host, hammered the Tacoma Cobras 12-0 in the opening round. Lakeside exploded for 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Issaquah graduate Mike Paulson, who played at Walla Walla Community College in the spring, had two hits and Newport graduate Dan Altchech had two hits and drove in three runs. Pitcher Travis Snider, a Skyline High graduate, blanked the Cobras on five hits and did not walk a batter.

With the victory, Lakeside Recovery entered July 21 with two chances to advance to the state tournament. In the first game, Lakeside Recovery met the Spokane Blue Devils, who also won their opener, in a winner-to-state game. The Blue Devils dealt Lakeside Recovery a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in 10 innings.

“We had our chances to score early but we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. We let them (Spokane) stay in the game and they put the ball in play when they had to. They executed when they had to,” Reese said.

Lakeside Recovery had a strong pitching performance from Paulson, who worked the first nine innings. He struck out seven batters. A costly error in the ninth inning helped the Blue Devils tie the game at 2-2.

“Paulson pitched great. He deserved the win but we just couldn’t get those last couple outs,” Reese said.

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Lakeside Recovery baseball season ends

July 22, 2011

NEW — 1:10 p.m. July 22, 2011

The Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion baseball team had two chances to qualify for the upcoming AAA state tournament, but fell short in a pair of games Thursday in a Super Regional tournament at Bellevue’s Bannerwood Park.

Lakeside Recovery entered the day coming off a 12-0 victory against the Tacoma Cobras in the opening round Wednesday.

The local club then faced the Spokane Blue Devils, who also won their opener, in a game where the winner automatically advanced to the state tournament. However,  Lakeside Recovery lost to the Spokane Blue Devils, 3-2. With the loss, Lakeside Recovery still had a chance to advance to the state tournament if it could beat the Kennewick Bandits.

But the season came to an end for Lakeside Recovery when it lost to the Kennewick Bandits, 8-5, in a loser-out, winner-to-state game.

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Lakeside Recovery baseball hammers Cobras

July 21, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. July 21, 2011

Mike Paulson, a former Issaquah High standout, and Dan Altchech, of Newport, each pounded out two hits to support the pitching of Travis Snider, of Skyline, Wednesday as the Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion baseball team hammered the Tacoma Cobras 12-0 in the a AAA Super Regional tournament game at Bellevue’s Bannerwood Park.

Lakeside Recovery plays the Spokane Blue Devils at 4 p.m. Thursday with the winner advancing to the state tournament next week in Selah. The loser plays either the Kennewick Bandits or Cobras for a state tournament berth.

Altchech drove in three runs and Paulson, who played at Walla Walla Community College in the spring, knocked in one run. Snider pitched a complete game, striking out seven and not allowing a walk.

Lakeside Recovery scored 10 runs in the fifth inning.

The victory evened Lakeside Recovery’s record at 21-21.

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Lakeside Recovery hosts sub-regional tourney

July 19, 2011

The Lakeside Recovery Senior American Legion baseball team plays the Tacoma Cobras at 4 p.m. July 20 in the opening round of the four-team AAA sub-regional tournament at Bannerwood Park.

The Kennewick Bandits and an entry from Spokane round out the field of teams. Those two teams meet at noon July 20.

The losers of the first two games meet at 7:30 p.m. in a loser-out game. The tournament resumes July 21 with the top two teams advancing to the AAA state tournament July 26 in Selah.

Lakeside Recovery, 20-21, finished its regular season with a pair of victories. On July 16, Lakeside Recovery downed Bellevue Legion, 5-1. Ethan Kalin and Andrew Kemmerer, both of Issaquah High School, hit home runs for Lakeside Recovery. Pitcher Aaron Sandefur, of Newport, picked up his fifth victory of the season. He struck out seven and allowed just one walk.

On July 14, Lakeside Recovery snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory against Honda Auto of Bellevue. Lakeside Recovery, shut out in two of its three previous games, hit three home runs off Honda pitching. Kalin, Sandefur and Issaquah graduate Mike Paulson all smashed home runs for Lakeside in a five-run second inning. Winning pitcher Connor Lawhead, a Skyline graduate, struck out 10 batters and allowed just one walk.

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