We hit the pitch to start our 2019-20 college sports coverage featuring athletes from your community!

Also this morning, we are officially kicking off our 2019-20 college sports coverage. The fall sports season is getting underway for colleges, and that means we’ll have plenty of college football, men’s and women’s soccer, golf, cross country, rowing, volleyball and other sports featuring local athletes throughout the fall in addition to our high school coverage, which will begin over the next couple of weeks.

We kick off the college sports action with news from Pocatello, ID, where Idaho State University’s women’s soccer team opened its season earlier this week. They played on Tuesday at home on campus in Pocatello in an exhibition against Utah’s Salt Lake Community College. The game ended in a scoreless draw and will not count in ISU’s standings. Junior Rachel Brownell, from Fall City, started on defense for the Bengals and worked 59 minutes, recording a shot, not on goal. She is a 2017 Mount Si HS grad who did not play soccer for the Wildcat program as a high school player.

Idaho State plays its first counting game tomorrow in Salt Lake City, taking on NCAA Division II Westminster College. Brownell is one of several former Mount Si boys’ or girls’ soccer players playing collegiately this fall; others include Natalie Weidenbach (University of Texas women), Mateo DiDomenico (Cal State East Bay men) and Karli White (Western Washington University women). We’ll have full coverage of all of it for you.

We by the way are still working on finalizing details of who will be playing where this fall so if you know of a Valley high school graduate (public or private) playing college soccer this fall, shoot us a note at snovalleysports@gmail.com with the information. Will need the player’s name, which school they graduated from and which college they are playing for this fall. Also will need your contact info incase we need to reach you further.

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Friday diamond cuts….Wenatchee heartbreak, and could Valley player get a chance to pitch his team to a title?

Good Friday morning. Diamond cuts to start the weekend.

It was a great season this summer for the Wenatchee AppleSox, but the way it ended, well, let’s just say that’s not how it was supposed to be.

Victoria’s Harrison Spohn singled with two runners on base walking it off in the bottom of the ninth as the HarbourCats rallied from a 7-5 deficit coming into their half of that ninth frame to stun the Sox 8-7 last night in the deciding game three of their playoff series and win the North Division Championship of the West Coast League, advancing to the college summer league’s championship series, where they’ll face the Corvallis Knights, who won the South Division title last night beating Walla Walla. Victoria took the series two games to one after Wenatchee opened the series at home Tuesday beating the ‘Cats.

Wenatchee’s trio of Mount Si High School grads all played in this one. We’ll start with pitcher Gavin Gorrell. Gorrell, back in June, had a rough outing in Victoria, allowing four runs in just 2/3 of an inning as the Sox fell 14-5 that night to the HarbourCats. Well, last night was better. He made it through 5 1/3 innings last night, allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits, striking out nine, so a good showing for sure for the Boise State sophomore-to-be from North Bend. Gorrell, though, ended up with no decision in this one thanks to the ninth inning finish, which actually started with four runs by the Sox to take that 7-5 lead before Victoria got, sadly, the last laugh.

Gorrell’s catcher the past few weeks when he’s pitched has been his friend and fellow 2017 Mount Si HS alum Justin Lutz, and that was the case again last night. Lutz, from Fall City, went 1-4 in his final appearance for the Sox this summer. He is set to head to Billings, MT, and play next spring for Montana State-Billings as a junior. North Bend’s Spencer Marenco, who graduated from Mount Si back in June, started at shortstop last night for Wenatchee and went 0-4, ending his brief stay with the team; he signed with the Sox last week after wrapping up his high school club season with the Bellevue-based Boys of Summer organization. While with Wenatchee, Marenco was coached by team head coach Kyle Krustangel, who will be Marenco’s college coach next spring at Yakima Valley Community College.

The Sox finished the season a strong 33-25 overall (29-25 league) and in second place overall in the North Division. This was the third season in a row Wenatchee has had a Mount Si alum on its roster – last season, Spencer’s brother Mason played with the Sox making the league’s all-star game and in 2017, Evan Johnson had a stellar season hitting over .300 with Wenatchee.

Okotoks shows who’s boss in WCBL title series: The suburban Calgary-based Dawgs traveled all day yesterday to Regina, Saskatechwan, for the first game of the Western Canadian Baseball League’s title series, and left with a 7-2 win over the host Red Sox that puts Okotoks one game away from winning it all. They can do just that with a win tonight – on home soil in Alberta. North Bend’s Tanner Simpson didn’t pitch for the Dawgs in last night’s game, but we’d beg a guess you can look for him perhaps to get the call tonight for this one at 6:00 up north of the border as Okotoks looks to win it all. Simpson, a 2014 Mount Si HS grad, just graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho.

Also:

Si View Metro Parks offering another opportunity for youth baseball players to improve skills
Your local parks district is once again offering youth baseball players in the community a chance to sharpen their skills as they begin their offseason routines in preparation for the 2020 baseball season.

Si View Metro Parks has once again partnered with Bellevue-based baseball instructor Steve Goucher to provide the opportunity to local kids. The “Fall Baseball Class” is aimed at players ages 7-12 and will provide kids an opportunity to improve in such areas as pitching, hitting, fielding and base running, helping them get ready for more advanced levels of the sport within Little League and other travel ball programs. The class will meet once a week, on Fridays from September 13 to October 18, from 2:30-4:00 p.m., following the end of the shortened Friday class sessions in the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

The class will be held at the field at Si View Park, 400 SE Orchard Dr. in North Bend, located behind the pool and activity center building on the west side of the park. Goucher has worked with Si View for many years providing this instruction to local youth baseball players. He is a former professional player and major league baseball scout who also has coached high school baseball locally, with Sammamish High School in Bellevue.

The fee online to register for the class is $155.10, and this covers all of the Friday sessions. For more information, you can go online to the Si View Metro Parks website and register there or call Aaron Colby at the Si View office at (425) 831-1900.

Posted in College Sports, On the Diamond | Leave a comment

Big night north of the border for MSHS baseball grads….and we have all the live coverage here now!!

It’s a busy night north of the border in Canada with Mount Si High School’s baseball program repping in a big way up there tonight, and we have live coverage of all the action for you here this evening.

At 6:00 up in Regina, Saskatchewan, the Okotoks Dawgs from Calgary take on the host Regina Red Sox in the first game of the best-of-three Western Canadian Baseball League championship series while 30 minutes after some 1,000 miles west in Victoria, B.C., the Wenatchee AppleSox look to keep their season alive – and advance to the West Coast League championship round – as they play the deciding third game of their series with the Victoria HarbourCats to decide the league’s North Division title.

Okotoks vs. Regina: The Valley connection in this one is Okotoks pitcher Tanner Simpson. A left-handed starter, the 2014 Mount Si HS grad is 2-2 this summer with the Dawgs sporting a solid 2.61 earned run average. He’s likely to get a start in this final, and could get the call tonight although nothing official has been announced yet. Reason for that? Well, he pitched a complete-game shutout last time out, in the deciding third game of Okotoks’ best-of-three opening round playoff series with their Alberta provincial rival Edmonton Prospects this past weekend, and struck out 11 lifting the Dawgs into the Western Division finals, which they won beating Lethbridge in a best-of-three series that wrapped up on Tuesday. Simpson, from North Bend, recently graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho.

Wenatchee vs. Victoria: The lineups for this game too haven’t been announced as of yet, but the AppleSox game notes for tonight list North Bend’s Gavin Gorrell as the likely starting pitcher for Wenatchee in this do-or-die game three. A pressure situation for sure for the 2017 Mount Si HS grad, and it’s coming on a field that was not very kind to him earlier this season. In what arguably was his worst outing of the summer, he lasted just two-thirds of an inning and allowed four runs on three hits, walking four HarbourCats, and took the losing decision in a 14-5 Wenatchee blowout loss to Victoria back on June 25. Gorrell is 4-2 this season with a 4.22 earned run average. Gorrell, who will be attending Boise State this fall, will be a sophomore there. Also expected to play for the Sox are infielder Spencer Marenco and catcher/outfielder Justin Lutz. Marenco, from North Bend, walked and scored a run last night for Wenatchee in their game two loss to the HarbourCats which forced this third game tonight, while Lutz, from Fall City, was hitless. Lutz, like Gorrell, graduated from Mount Si in 2017 while Marenco graduated back in June of this year.

Without further adieu, here’s the live coverage. Both feeds are from YouTube:

Okotoks @ Regina

Wenatchee @ Victoria (This is a pay-per-view tonight as opposed to last night’s free broadcast, see link for more info)

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Thursday diamond cuts

Good Thursday morning. Baseball on this Thursday and we head up to Canada for our college summer coverage this morning, starting it off in Victoria, BC, where the Wenatchee AppleSox could not close out their divisional final series with the Victoria HarbourCats. Victoria rallied from a couple of early deficits and forced a deciding third game tonight on Vancouver Island.

The HarbourCats took the game 7-2 tying their best-of-three series with the Sox at 1-1 in the West Coast League’s playoff clash. A pair of Valleyites played for Wenatchee in this one – Fall City’s Justin Lutz went 0-4 while North Bend’s Spencer Marenco was 0-3 with a walk and run scored. Both are Mount Si High School grads, with Lutz graduating in 2017 and Marenco back in June of this year.

The third and deciding game of this series is tonight at 6:30 up at Wilson’s Group Stadium in downtown Victoria and will be broadcast live on YouTube. Those of you who were with us last night saw the live link to the Victoria broadcast, and we will be providing one again tonight for you. The winner of this series will meet the league’s other divisional champion, either the Walla Walla Sweets or Corvallis Knights, for the league title starting tomororw. Walla Walla barely survived last night, needing a six-run ninth-inning onslaught to rally from a late hole to stun Corvallis 9-4 and force a third game at Oregon State University tonight. If Corvallis wins, it’s likely they’ll end up with home field advantage with the best overall record in the league this year, so the North Division winner (Victoria or Wenatchee), if the playoff format from this round holds, will get game one tomorrow.

Good luck to the Sox and the other teams tonight.

We head east up the Trans-Canada Highway now over the Rockies into the Canadian prairies for our next item.

WCBL finals set: The Okotoks Dawgs will be facing the Regina Red Sox in the finals of the Western Canadian Baseball League college summer playoffs, this after Regina won the league’s Eastern Division title last night with a win over Swift Current. Okotoks, based in Calgary, AB, won the Western Division crown Tuesday night beating Lethbridge. Pitching matchups have not been announced, but look for 2014 Mount Si High School grad Tanner Simpson, he of North Bend and a recent grad of Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, to start one of the games on the mound for the Dawgs. He is 2-2 this summer for Okotoks with a strong 2.61 earned run average, and is coming off a complete-game shutout in which he struck out 11 Edmonton Prospects to help the Dawgs win their first-round series with their Alberta provincial rivals last weekend.

Game one is tonight at 6:00 in Regina, and also can be seen on YouTube. We’ll have a link to that later on for you here. The series is best-of-three and finishes Saturday night.

From the college summer circuit now to the pros:

Minor Leagues
North Bend’s Lane gets work: Pitcher Trevor Lane, the 2012 Mount Si High School grad from North Bend, got another outing last night for the Trenton Thunder as the New York Yankees-affiliated class “AA” minor-league team rolled to an 8-1 win over the Akron RubberDucks, a Cleveland Indians affiliate, in Eastern League action in Akron, OH. Lane worked the ninth inning and it was perfect with no decision recorded, dropping his earned run average to 1.88. His ERA has been good all season, so his effort last night continued his strong performance in 2019. Lane is in his fourth season with the Yankee organization and was drafted by them back in 2016.

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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!!

Also:

Golf
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.

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