Thursday news and notes, from the diamond and the volleyball floor…..

Good Thursday morning. Diamond cuts this morning to start and we once again lead off with some Little League action.

The Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA, is a place every little boy who plays baseball wants to be at every summer, and Little League programs all over the world are getting set to send their best players on that road to realizing their dreams. The Snoqualmie Valley and Falls Little Leagues are among the leagues who have “Majors” division (under-12 age) teams now on that road, and last night, the two local leagues squared off in a pre-tournament tune-up in Fall City.

SVLL’s “Majors” All-Stars rolled to the 13-4 win, led by Jake Patton, who homered as part of a 3-3 effort, scoring two runs and driving in two more. Jackson Taylor also aided the efforts for the victors, going 2-2 with a walk and two runs.

Both leagues will continue tune-up games leading into the District 9 tournament, which starts on July 7.

In other action, SVLL’s “Coast” All-Stars (under-10 age) play a loser-out game tonight at Centennial Fields in Snoqualmie in their District 9 event. They play Bellevue Thunderbird at 6:00 p.m., and admission is free. Centennial is on Park Street next to Snoqualmie Elementary School.

Time now for the rest of the youth baseball and softball action this morning. Much of our coverage comes from Gamechanger and the Gamechanger app, available on Apple IPhones and IPads in their app store.

Boys of Summer 18U Blue 7, Baden Premier 2 (game one, doubleheader): Mount Si’s Spencer Marenco paced Bellevue-based BoS to the twinbill-opening win at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue. He went 1-3 with two runs scored and an RBI for Boys as they scored five runs in the second to down the Kent-based opposition.

Washington A’s 15, Seattle Gladiators 15U 5 (game one, doubleheader): The Sammamish-based A’s cruised to the twinbill-opening win over the Gladiators at Southeast Athletic Complex in Seattle. The large Mount Si delegation for Gladiators was led by Mason Gronewald, Tyler Disch, Ryan Harris and Daniel Yurkanin, all of whom walked once and scored a run apiece despite all going hitless in the contest. Gronewald started the game on the hill for SG and took the loss, allowing eight runs – three earned – on five hits in 3 1/3 innings pitched, walking two and striking out two.

Bellevue Dragons 18U Elite 25, Baden Red 0: Yep, that was the score, folks, last night up at Shorecrest High School as the Dragons put this one to bed in a hurry, scoring 13 of their runs in the first then continuing the pressure the rest of the way. Mount Si’s Harrison Clark paced the Dragons, going 2-2 with a run scored and four RBI’s, and fellow Wildcat Troy Baunsgard went 1-3 for BDE, walking twice, scoring two runs and driving in a third. Clark and teammates Jarek Woodward and Marcus Chin combined on a one-hitter, with Clark starting the game on the hill and pitching the first two innings with no stats of note reported.

Northwest Naturals 15U 13, JBC Prep Sportswear 3: The Sammamish-based Nats took care of business last night at home on the Plateau at Skyline High School, aided by MSHS’ Dawson Schneider, who went 1-2 with a double, two walks, three runs scored and two RBI’s. Fellow Wildcat Cole Norah led the way for Nats, going 3-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Ex-MSHS’er Jake Mitton, the Valley rep on JBCPS, did not play in the contest for the Kirkland-based team.

Boys of Summer 15U 16, FM Sports 0: Just up 228th Ave. SE from Skyline is Eastlake High School, and this is where Bellevue-based BoS rolled to a win over Redmond-based FM under the lights last night guided by Mount Si’s Turner McCutchan, who went 1-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. BoS heads down to Portland for a weekend tournament today – they have two games in that tournament this afternoon.

Baden Black 18, Seattle Gladiators 18U 8: Kent-based Baden pulled away late to sink the Gladiators at Courter Field in Bellevue (Bellevue College campus). The Valley delegation for the Gladiators was led by Mount Si’s Frankie Cepeda, who went 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Fellow Wildcat Jack Dougherty pitched for the Gladiators, allowing four runs on three hits, walking two in 2 1/3 innings with no decision recorded. He also went 0-2 with a run offensively.

Baden Premier 7, Boys of Summer 18U Blue 3 (game two, doubleheader): Baden broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the fifth to win the nightcap of their double-dip at Bannerwood and split the pair with Boys. Marenco went 1-3 with an RBI.

Washington A’s 11, Seattle Gladiators 15U 5 (game two, doubleheader): The A’s cruised once again in the nightcap and swept the pair from the Seattle-based squad. Tyler Disch led the Mount Si contingent in this one, going 3-4 with a run scored and two RBI’s. He also started on the hill for the Gladiators and allowed eight runs – only one of which was earned – on seven hits in five innings, walking five and striking out five. Gronewald and Yurkanin both had a double each for SG, with Gronewald finishing 2-4 with a run scored and RBI. Yurkanin also walked and drove in a run for the Gladiators.

Softball: SVLL/Falls “Coast” All-Stars miss chance to compete for title
The combined group of “Coast” All-Stars from the Snoqualmie Valley and Falls Little Leagues looked for a second chance to compete for a district title last night, playing in a loser-out semifinal of the District 9 tournament in Issaquah. And after missing out on their first try Tuesday, they had that second chance last night. Unfortunately, it did not go well, as the Valley girls fell to a combined team from Redmond’s Little League programs – West and North – ending the Valleyites’ season in third place in the tournament.

A congrats, though, to all the kids and coaches from that team, and we hope to see many of the girls on the field wearing Mount Si uniforms in the coming years.

To Colorado now and news from the big club tournaments there. Some of our coverage comes from Gamechanger and the Gamechanger app, available on Apple IPhones and IPads in their app store.

East Cobb Bullets (GA) 12, Washington Ladyhawks 18U Gold Miller 0: The Atlanta-area team held the Puyallup-based Hawks to one hit in the loss to open the Boulder IDT tournament. Cedarcrest’s Michaela Carter went 0-1 for WLH. She did not play in the team’s nightcap last night, a 14-5 loss to the Corona Angels from southern California.

Sparkler/Fireworks: A mixed bag again yesterday for the local teams competing at the Colorado Sparkler and Fireworks events in Denver. The Snohomish-based Northwest Batbusters 18U Seek, with MSHS grad Lauren Wilbourne and CHS alum Elaine Townley, posted a win in their lone game at the Fireworks event yesterday, over a Texas team. Townley’s sister Kat, a future CHS freshman, and her Team Seattle 14U squad beat an Alabama team and tied a California team. Rounding it out, Wilbourne’s sister Molly, a MSHS junior-to-be, and her Seattle Sundodgers 16U squad fell twice, to a local Denver-area team and another from Illinois. Action in the event continues today. Auburn-based Washington Acers 16U Orange, with Mount Si’s Hope Bostick, had yesterday off and plays again today.

We have more baseball for you and some volleyball as well after the break.

College Summer Baseball
Valley duo plays together again for Pickles in WCL: It was another night of a dual Valley effort last night for the Portland Pickles in their game with the Corvallis Knights.

North Bend’s Carson Breshears and Duvall’s Adam Davenport both played for the West Coast League’s Pickles in the contest, the second time in the past few days this has taken place; it also took place this past Sunday in a Portland game against Walla Walla. In last night’s action for the Pickles, Breshears, a 2014 MSHS grad who plays his college ball for Gonzaga, went 0-3 with a run scored, and Davenport, a 2015 CHS’er who plays at the University of Washington, allowed three runs – all unearned – on just one hit in 1/3 inning of work, walking three and receiving no decision. Corvallis beat Portland in the game at Oregon State University 9-4.

Mullins on hill: North Bend’s Isaac Mullins continues to be dominant this year on the mound for the Cowlitz Black Bears. He pitched two innings of relief last night for the Kelso-based WCL squad as they blanked the host Yakima Valley Pippins 2-0 over in Yakima, not allowing a run or hit and striking out one. He received no decision and now sports a 0.93 earned run average, among the best this season in the league. Mullins is a 2015 Mount Si grad and pitches for Washington State University.

Everett wins pitcher’s duel: The Pacific International League’s Everett Merchants scored a 1-0 win last night in a non-conference game at home in Everett over the Fairbanks, AK-based Alaska Goldpanners. Mount Si grad Evan Johnson, from Snoqualmie, went 0-2 with a run scored for Everett in the contest. He recently graduated from the University of Northern Colorado.

CHS alum Mallot unable to beat the Heat: Cedarcrest High School grad Riley Mallot saw work on the hill last night in the Great West League in northern California, but it did not go well for him or his team, the San Francisco Seals.

Mallot, a 2017 CHS’er from Duvall who will be a sophomore this fall at Columbia Basin College in the Tri-Cities, allowed three runs on three hits in one inning of relief for the Seals as they fell 9-2 to the Chico Heat in Chico, CA. Mallot walked two, struck out one and received no decision, with his ERA rising to a large 12.38 after last night’s efforts.

Highline falls in non-league game: The PIL’s Highline Bears were routed on the road last night in Bellingham by the host Bells from the WCL 8-1. Blaine Wagner, a 2017 CHS’er from Duvall and catcher at Seattle University, has played outfield this season for the Bears and last night once again did just that, going 0-2 in the contest for Highline.

Pro Baseball
Lane strikes out ex-big league slugger: Last night saw another outing for North Bend’s Trevor Lane on the hill for his minor league baseball team as he looks to make his way towards the big leagues, and this one had something a little extra special – a chance to face an ex-MLB slugger looking also to make his way back to the show.

Lane’s Tampa Tarpons, a New York Yankees affiliate, hosted the Minnesota Twins-affiliated Fort Myers Miracle in the class “advanced A” Florida State League. Fort Myers won the game 8-5 in Tampa, and Lane, a 2012 Mount Si HS grad, allowed a run on one hit – a home run to Miracle hitter Lewin Diaz in the seventh inning – in 1 1/3 innings, striking out one. And that one “K” was a big one. He struck out Miguel Sano, the former Twins major league All-Star slugger who was sent down by the parent Minnesota club recently after he struggled to start the season at the big league level in the Twin Cities. Sano finished 1-5 with three strikeouts and is now hitting just .250 at the minor league level, a far cry likely from what the Twins want to see in order to bring him back up north.

Lane received no decision and his ERA now stands at a solid 3.77 this season.

Karalus on a roll: Seems as if North Bend’s Reece Karalus is in a groove. The 2012 Mount Si HS grad, a pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays-affiliated Charlotte Stone Crabs “advanced A”-class minor league team in Florida, had his seventh straight strong outing last night, and this one was especially good. Two innings, no runs or hits allowed, and three strikeouts. He had no decision, though, and Charlotte fell on the road 4-1 to the host Lakeland Flying Tigers, a Detroit Tigers affiliate. Karalus’ ERA is now at 3.06, and he continues on a path that might see him promoted back up to Tampa’s “AA” team in Alabama, who he started the season with and struggled with, resulting in his demotion back to Charlotte, who Karalus pitched for last season.

Volleyball: MI-based team with local players delivers big at AAU nats
Mercer Island-based Island Thunder’s 18’s volleyball team, with Mount Si grads Emma Anderson and Jessica Hanners, found their way back into the win column in a big way yesterday at the Amateur Athletic Union national tournament in Orlando, winning all three of their matches.

ITVC handled teams from Illinois, Indiana, and Vancouver, BC, putting them into the 18U “Ruby” division playoffs at the tournament, which start a little later on this morning. The Ruby bracket is third from the top, meaning Island Thunder should have a respectable-place finish when all is said and done. The Eastside team earned a first-round bye and will have to win two matches today to win the playoff. Today is the last day of play for Island Thunder in the Orlando event.

Also this morning:

Foote’s KJ team runs into tough competition in Detroit: The Kent Juniors’ 12’s, coached by Mount Si High School head coach Bonnie Foote and which features her daughter Isabelle, had a special accomplishment earlier this season, earning a trip to the USA Volleyball Nationals in Detroit by winning a local qualifying tournament – we, of course, had that for you here back in April when that all went down. The team is now back in the Motor City, and when Foote saw the draw they were getting in their first games at the tournament, we’re guessing she was not very pleased with it – her team facing California, Texas and Florida teams, tough customers all year in and year out.

And that proved to be the case yesterday, as KJ fell to all three of the Sun Belt squads in one-sided defeats. They play teams from California and the Midwest today looking for wins, but more so looking to have fun and enjoy this special trip which as we noted when we mentioned this before is probably for some of them the first time they’ve been away from home like this on such an adventure. They’re back there through this weekend.

Mount Si well represented in the Valley of the Sun: Several players from Mount Si High School’s volleyball program will be competing with club teams at the Volleyball Festival tournament down in Phoenix, which starts later this morning.

Three teams from Bellevue’s Northwest Juniors headline the Wildcat representation. Megan Simpson and Lexi Niehaus will be part of NWJ’s 15’s entry in the event, while fellow MSHS’ers Dana Dolan and Annaliese “A.J.” Jensen will compete with the organization’s 18’s team in the tournament. Rounding it out, on the NWJ 16’s “Blue” will be Megan Underbrink. Also there this weekend are the Mercer Island-based Island Thunder’s 17’s, and they will have aboard Mount Si senior-to-be Bellah Gogan, who has joined the team for this weekend’s tournament after finishing the season with the Seattle Juniors’ 18’s, who are not competing in any of the postseason tournaments this year.

NWJ 18’s starts it off at 8:00am, then Island Thunder follows shortly thereafter. This afternoon will see the NWJ 15’s and 16’s teams start play, with all teams expected to continue play through the weekend. All of the action is taking place at Phoenix’s downtown convention center.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
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