North Bend’s Simpson slams door and helps his college summer baseball team advance in their league playoffs, plus diamond cuts and news from the pitch on this Sunday……

Good Sunday morning.

We start with diamond cuts and a trip north of the border into Canada, and a big outing on the hill for a Valleyite helped his team advance in their league playoffs for the first time in five years.

North Bend’s Tanner Simpson pitched a complete-game gem, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out 11 in a shutout performance, pacing the Okotoks Dawgs to a series-clinching 5-0 win over the Edmonton Prospects in the deciding third game of the opening round of the Western Canadian Baseball League postseason. The top-seeded Dawgs, who took their best-of-three series two games to one, advanced into a series with the Lethbridge Bulls, and that begins tonight. Lethbridge won their deciding third game of their opening round series last night beating Medicine Hat.

Simpson, a 2014 Mount Si High School grad who just graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, moved to 2-2 overall on the summer with a stellar 2.61 earned run average with the Calgary-based Dawgs.

The series with Lethbridge is also a best-of-three and that goes from tonight to Tuesday. If they win that series, they’ll advance to the league finals this coming weekend.

West Coast League action now:

Corvallis rolls: The Knights took a 11-0 lead after five innings and cruised to an 11-3 win over the Wenatchee AppleSox last night at home down at Oregon State University’s Goss Stadium. Fall City’s Justin Lutz went 0-3 with a run scored for Wenatchee playing right field, and North Bend’s Spencer Marenco went 0-1 in late-inning duty at second base for the Sox. They are two of the Wildcat alum trio playing down the stretch for the Sox; the third is pitcher – and North Bender – Gavin Gorrell, and he is likely to pitch one of the games of the upcoming playoff series for Wenatchee against Victoria which starts Tuesday. In the meantime, the Sox and Corvallis finish the regular season at 3:00 this afternoon down in the Willamette Valley.

Walla Walla handles their business: With heavy weather surrounding them in Yakima, the Walla Walla Sweets and Yakima Valley Pippins got their game in last night at Yakima County Stadium, with the Sweets blowing out to a 10-0 lead after five and holding off the Pippins 11-5. Gavin Gorrell’s cousin Grant, who started the season with Wenatchee but recently ended up with Yakima Valley, was 0-3 with an RBI playing infield for the Pippins in this one. The two teams wrap up their regular seasons tonight with one more game at 7:00, then the season will be done for YVP. Walla Walla will head home and open the playoffs with Corvallis Tuesday.

Five in a row for Stanton, Red Stars: The Chicago Red Stars continue to be on a tear in the National Women’s Soccer League, with their win streak reaching five matches after a 1-0 win on the road in suburban Washington, DC, last night over the host Washington Spirit. The lone goal was scored in the second half by Chicago’s Yuki Nagasato.

North Bend’s Nikki Stanton almost had the entire game off last night, but the 2008 Mount Si HS grad did see some limited action in the final minute of proceedings for the Red Stars with no stats of note reported. The win moved Chicago to 9-5-2 on the season and 29 points, and that puts them at the top of the standings table in the league, a point ahead of North Carolina. The Courage are at the Portland Thorns in a game today that will see a winner if there is one in this game overtake Chicago for first place in the standings as wins are three points each. Portland sits in third with 27 points, two back of the Red Stars in points.

Chicago will remain on the East Coast as they’ll have a midweek game on Wednesday, as Stanton and her longtime friend and teammate Sam Kerr both lead the Red Stars into New York/New Jersey and a battle against their former team, Sky Blue FC. Stanton and Kerr are both in their second season with Chicago after the Red Stars acquired them in a trade following the 2018 NWSL draft. Game is at 4:00 on Wednesday afternoon and is live on Yahoo!.

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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