A special weekend ends with a special morning on a big stage for Mount Si baseball players and their select team in Oregon

Good Tuesday morning. A little bit of news for you on a Tuesday.

It was a great morning yesterday for several current and former members of Mount Si High School’s baseball program as they all got to compete on a big stage so to speak – a minor-league baseball field. The Preston-based Michael’s Toyota Bears 18U baseball club program this past weekend competed in a tournament down in the Salem, OR, area, as the COVID-19 shutdowns to youth sports have dramatically decreased the number of opportunities for them to play this summer. But yesterday’s finale capped off what was an incredible weekend for the team and its Wildcat contingent.

The Bears rolled to a 10-3 win over southwest Washington’s Northwest Star Academy, based in Clark County, on the home field of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, of the class “A” Northwest League, down in Keizer, OR. Mount Si’s Kevin Corder led the way for the Bears, going 3-3 and coming a homer short of hitting for the cycle. He scored three runs. Fellow Wildcats Andrew Edson, Blake Miller and Ryan Gerlitz all contributed too. Miller doubled and scored a run while Gerlitz added a hit and scored two runs. Edson capped it off with a double, two runs scored and two RBI’s. So the Mount Si contingent all did their part that’s for sure.

“The stadium was really nice,” Edson told us via Twitter. “We played really well.” As noted, this was an incredible weekend for the group. They finished winning three of five games in the event, but what perhaps will prove to be the highlight of this summer in Valley youth sports came during the games this past Saturday, when Gerlitz, back at 100% this summer after his cancer fight 18 months ago, hit his first home run since returning to full-time play following that fight for his life.

“Ryan’s homer was one of the highlights of the weekend,” Edson told us. “Everybody at the field was so happy for him,” and that was clearly evident in the video clip of the homer. His entire team – and the parents who were standing behind the dugout outside the field complex – were all in celebratory mode following that, not simply for it having been a homer, but for who hit said homer. Gerlitz, as you all remember, fought his battle hard and had the entire community behind him, so this homer was in a sense another victory not just for him, but his entire community as well. The Bears fell in that game to Mercer Island-based Mudville 8-5 last Saturday morning, but that didn’t dampen the spirits one bit.

It’s not clear what the remainder of the season will entail for the Bears, as it’s getting into the portion of the summer where tryouts for next season will take place. However, the continuing COVID-19 restrictions could delay or significantly modify those sessions, perhaps forcing a shifting of those into 2021.

Action for other youth baseball and softball teams should continue this weekend, with most teams beginning the process of moving into fall tryouts shortly thereafter. How the COVID-19 restrictions impact other clubs also remains to be seen.

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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