Hitting the diamond on a Saturday morning…..

Good Saturday morning. Diamond cuts aplenty this morning.

We are going to start this morning talking about college summer baseball. College summer leagues, like all of baseball, have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a large number of them, including the West Coast League based here in the Northwest, canceling their seasons as a result of the effects of the virus response and shutdowns. This has forced players, all of whom saw their regular college seasons get cut short this spring when the NCAA and NAIA canceled those in response to the virus outbreak as well, to flock to the few leagues that are open to compete for a smaller number of available spots this summer.

Among the leagues that are in operation is the Expedition League. This league, which usually has around a dozen teams in the northern Great Plains region of the U.S. playing each summer, has been reduced due to the pandemic to a half-dozen for this season, and it opened a shortened schedule last night. Among the teams competing is one which will feature a Mount Si High School alum.

The Western Nebraska Pioneers are based in Gering, which is next door to Scottsbluff in the western part of Nebraska, and they started up play last night – with fans, yes, fans in attendance – and posted a win. The Pios overcame two deficits to beat the Trappers from Pierre, SD, 5-4 last night in front of over 1,200 onlookers at Oregon Trail Park. The Pios on their roster feature infielder Spencer Marenco, a 2019 MSHS’er who played this spring with Yakima Valley Community College. He did not play, but the team also has a second player with ties to Kingco. Seattle University player Kai Alberghini, he a Liberty HS alum, started in left field for WNP and went 1-4 with an RBI.

The Pioneers play again tonight and their season will run through mid-August. Games are being webstreamed for a fee; go to the Expedition League’s website here for more information on that. WNP games are also being broadcast for free on radio – KOZY-FM out of Scottsbluff carries the games and they are available on the TuneIn app on your mobile device.

There is at least one other MSHS alum playing college summer ball. 2017 grad Gavin Gorrell, who plays for Boise State University, has hooked up with the Northwoods League’s Willmar Stingers, based in Minnesota. That league has split up into regional divisions due to the pandemic and Willmar’s division, featuring Minnesota and Iowa-based teams, begins play next week.

Time for our youth scoreboard. Scores and highlights from Gamechanger and the Gamechanger app, available on Apple IPhones and IPads in their app store.

Northwest Naturals 18U 14, Lakeside Recovery 0: The Sammamish-based Nats had a very successful day over in Ellensburg yesterday and it finished out with an offensive onslaught against the Issaquah-based opposition. Mount Si’s Cam Ferreri led the local Nat delegation, going 2-3 with a run scored and two RBI’s. Fellow Wildcats Dawson Schneider (1-3, run, RBI) and Cole Norah (0-1, two walks, two runs, RBI) also pitched in to the victory for NWN.

Columbia Basin Riverdogs 7, Bellevue Dragons Elite 16U Green 6 (game one, doubleheader): Also at the Ellensburg event, the Dragons held a 6-3 lead after five only to fall in stunning walk-off fashion as the Riverdogs scored four times in the final two innings to escape with the victory. Mount Si’s Chris Jarocki went 1-3 with a run scored and RBI for the Dragons, while fellow Wildcat Brady Hossfeld also added a hit.

WW Sweets ’22 18U 11, Idaho Cubs 8: The Sammamish-based Sweets escaped with a win in a wild one over at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, ID, at a tournament there over a Boise-based team and had help from a pair of Mount Si’ers. Aidan Dougherty went 2-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, and also pitched, allowing a run on one hit in one inning with a strikeout and two walks and no decision. Jake Smith also pitched in a hit for Sweets, who continues play in the tournament today.

Northwest Naturals 18U 9, Bellevue Dragons 0: The day over in the Kittitas Valley started out well enough for the Nats, with Schneider announcing a verbal college commitment then seeing two of his fellow pitchers combine on a no-no in the blanking of the Bellevue rivals.

Dylan Owen and Reidar Vane combined on the tremendous feat, with a total of seven strikeouts between the two, as NWN exploded with six fifth-inning runs to take it by mercy rule. Ferreri had two doubles and two runs scored while Norah added two hits as well, along with a run scored and RBI. Schneider went 0-2, but as noted made news prior to taking the field over there, as he announced his verbal commitment to attend and play for Yakima Valley Community College in the fall of 2021 after he graduates from Mount Si. YVCC as we told you last weekend made him an offer, an offer which looked very good to begin with but with the NCAA’s announced extension of their in-person recruitment ban until August 31 this week likely costing Schneider and other top 2021 baseball college prospects opportunities to be seen this summer by Division I coaches, becomes an even better one now for the pitcher.

We should also add the Dragons have a Mount Si player on their roster – Anthony Gilden. He did not play in the contest for Bellevue.

Mercedes-Benz Prep 14, Kirkland Merchants 18U Elite 1: At the Nampa tournament, it was back to earth for the Merchants after their first win of the season on Thursday, as they were held to four hits in the blowout loss to the Bellevue team. Daniel Mouncer went 2-2 for KM, which features players primarily from Kingco schools in the Lake Washington and Northshore school districts.

Columbia Basin Riverdogs 20, Bellevue Dragons Elite 16U Green 3 (game two, doubleheader): The Tri-Cities based team continued where they left off after the first game, and unloaded for 19 second-inning runs, yes, 19 second-inning runs to run away with the nightcap and sweep of two at Rotary Park over in Ellensburg. Hossfeld and Jarocki each had a hit apiece to pace BDE.

Crossfire Fastpitch 5, Washington Ladyhawks 18U Hirai 3: The Bellevue-based Ladyhawk team, featuring several players familiar to Mount Si and Cedarcrest softball fans playing for league rivals of the two schools, fell in a friendly down in southwest Washington. Issaquah’s Kahia Vaifo’ou led the Hawks going 2-3 with a run scored and RBI.

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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