Playoff baseball and news from the links on this “Hump Day” Wednesday…

Good Wednesday morning. Back after another day off yesterday.

College summer baseball leagues are in playoff mode now, and last night, the Wenatchee AppleSox opened their West Coast League playoff run hosting the Victoria HarbourCats in the first game of the best-of-three North Division finals. A pair of Valleyites pitched in for Wenatchee as they got the job done and put a lot of pressure on the top-seed ‘Cats.

Fall City’s Justin Lutz had a double and North Bend’s Spencer Marenco had a hit and run scored, both pacing the Sox to a 5-1 win over Victoria at home in Wenatchee at Wenatchee Valley College. The pair, part of a trio of Mount Si High School grads on the Sox, both have had key roles in the late stretch for Wenatchee after both joined the team late in the season. Lutz, a catcher, will be a junior this fall at Montana State-Billings and played right field last night for the Sox, while Marenco, an infielder, played second base for Wenatchee and will be attending Yakima Valley Community College this fall, a program that is coached by Sox coach Kyle Krustangel.

The third player, pitcher Gavin Gorrell, from North Bend, will be attending Boise State University this fall and will be a sophomore. Gorrell and Lutz graduated from Mount Si in 2017 while Marenco walked the aisle back in June of this year.

Wenatchee is at Victoria tonight seeking to clinch the series at 6:30 north of the border. If the HarbourCats win, they’ll play again up in British Columbia tomorrow night with the winner of the series facing the winner of the South Division finals, the Corvallis Knights or Walla Walla Sweets, in the league finals this weekend. Corvallis in game one of their best-of-three series last night beat Walla Walla over in Walla Walla 6-3. That series resumes tonight down at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

Valleyite to play for championship: While the trio of Wildcat alums we just mentioned are one step away from playing for a title, there’s a fourth MSHS alum whose team will be playing for their college summer league title.

That would be Tanner Simpson. Simpson pitches for the Okotoks Dawgs up in the Western Canadian Baseball League, and last night, the Calgary-based squad broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the sixth and held off the Lethbridge Bulls 4-3 to take the best-of-three West Division finals two games to one. Simpson, a 2014 MSHS grad from North Bend who just graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, didn’t play in last night’s game but is likely now slated to pitch at least one of the games in the league title series, which will be this weekend. It’ll be against the winner of the East Division finals, being contested by two teams from Saskatchewan – the Swift Current 57’s or the Regina Red Sox. The deciding third game of that series is tonight in Regina. We wish Okotoks good luck this weekend in the league finals!!


Valleyites compete for trip to national amateur championship: A pair of Valley residents last week competed for a spot in the U.S. Senior Amateur men’s national championship tournament, competing in a sectional qualifier for the event on the Olympic Peninsula.

North Bend’s Mark Stephenson and Fall City’s William Graham both were among the field of players from around the western United States and Canada that participated in the tournament up in Sequim. Stephenson carded a 79 and Graham fired an 84 on the par-72 Sunland Golf and Country Club layout, with both not qualifying for the tournament – just the top two finishers earned berths, and they were both several shots ahead of the Valley pair.

Still, though, a good experience for both guys, and we congratulate them here for their efforts in the event last Monday.

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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