Valley pitchers factors in wins for minor-league clubs in Florida, plus other news from the diamond on this Tuesday…..

Good Tuesday morning. Here’s our diamond cuts for today from baseball.

We start down in Florida, where two Valley pitchers both were factors for their Florida State League minor league teams in victories last night.

First, in Tampa, the Tampa Yankees overcame a nine-run third inning from the visiting Clearwater Threshers, and rallied from the resulting 10-3 deficit to the Philadelphia Phillies-affiliated squad for a wild 13-11 win last night at home in Tampa, FL. The New York Yankees-affiliated team used a big inning of their own – a five-run sixth – to fuel the comeback, and getting the win on the hill in relief was North Bend’s Trevor Lane. The 2012 Mount Si High School grad worked 1 2/3 perfect innings and struck out one to pick up the victory to go to 2-1 with Tampa, 6-3 overall on the season split between the class “advanced A” Yankees and the class “A” Charleston River Dogs in South Carolina, who Lane pitched for earlier this season before being promoted to Tampa.

Down I-75 in Port Charlotte, the Charlotte Stone Crabs, affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays, blanked the visiting Jupiter Hammerheads, a Miami Marlins affiliate, 5-0. Lane’s fellow 2012 MSHS alum, North Bend’s Reece Karalus, teamed up with starting pitcher Eduar Lopez on a three-hitter, with Karalus working the ninth inning and pitching perfect with one strikeout and receiving no decision.

The wins moved Charlotte to 54-57 overall on the season and Tampa to 67-46. In the second-half standings, the Yankees are first in the league’s North Division, currently 28-15 in second-half games, and Charlotte is fourth in the FSL’s South Division, at 23-20.

With both locals playing last night, it’s likely they will not pitch again until later this week. Tampa, starting Thursday, hosts the New York Mets’ affiliated St. Lucie team, perhaps giving Lane another crack at pitching to the minor leagues’ most talked-about player this season, outfielder Tim Tebow, while Charlotte, also starting Thursday, is at the Pittsburgh Pirates-affiliated Bradenton. Those games will be on MILB.tv.

The two ex-Wildcats were both drafted by their respective Major League Baseball parent organizations in recent drafts out of college – Karalus in 2015 by Tampa Bay and Lane last year by New York.

Difficult end to season for Johnson, Wenatchee: The past 24 hours have been very tough for the Wenatchee Apple Sox. First, the West Coast League college summer team on Sunday saw their playoff hopes dashed on a heart-breaking walk-off loss to the Bellingham Bells in what was supposed to be the final game of the regular season for the team, then word started to get out the Sox were dealing with something else: the tragic passing of one of their players.

Wenatchee played their final game of the season last night, a makeup game from smoked-out games last week against the Corvallis Knights, and the Sox fell at home in Wenatchee to the visiting Knights 12-1. Evan Johnson, the Snoqualmie product and senior-to-be at Northern Colorado, went 1-4 and finished his season hitting .321. The 2014 Mount Si HS grad finished in a tie for the league RBI crown with Kelowna’s Taylor Wright, both with 54 and setting a new league record in the process. Johnson previously broke the Wenatchee team season RBI record last week.

As noted, the Sox were playing the game still reeling from the news that one of their pitchers from this season, Tom Watanabe, passed away suddenly over the weekend. No cause of death has been reported for the hurler, who was from Sacramento and was set to pitch next spring at the University of Nevada-Reno. A moment of silence was held prior to the game last night in remembrance of Watanabe, who played with Wenatchee until about two weeks ago and finished with no decisions in four appearances. He was listed posthumously as the starting pitcher in last night’s game, and his Wenatchee jersey was displayed on the pitchers’ mound at Wenatchee Valley College’s field, where the game was held, as part of the pregame tribute.

We here at the SVSJ offer our condolences to the Apple Sox and Watanabe’s family on their awful loss.

Wenatchee finishes its season at 29-25.

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Valleyite Johnson moves into tie for league’s RBI lead, but his Wenatchee team sees playoff hopes crumble in dramatic fashion, plus news from the pitch

Good Monday morning. Quick note from your editor and that is with our summer coverage schedule wrapping up with no more youth baseball and softball action of note, we’re probably going to be a bit light on news items this week so be aware of that. Illustrating how light it is, we have just one this morning, and it’s a tough one for one local college baseball athlete.

Despite a 1-4 effort from Snoqualmie’s Evan Johnson that saw him drive in two runs and move into a tie for top spot in the West Coast League’s season RBI race, the Wenatchee Apple Sox last night saw their postseason hopes dashed in the worst possible way – a walk-off hit.

Bellingham’s Kyle Stowers singled with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, scoring teammate Austin Shenton with the game-winning run, completing a comeback from down 4-0 and giving the Bells a stunning 5-4 win at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham that kept them alive for the postseason and knocked the Sox out. Johnson, a 2014 Mount Si High School grad, now has 54 RBI’s on the season, a new Wenatchee club record, and is tied for that top spot with Kelowna’s Taylor Wright.

Thanks to last week’s smoke problems in Wenatchee that forced cancellation and subsequent move of the series between the Sox and Corvallis, the two teams were only able to make up two of three games, with the third being left open incase playoff tiebreakers required it. Well, even though the Sox are out, they play tonight anyway that third game as the result will determine whether the Bells or divisional rival Victoria goes to the playoffs from the WCL’s North Division. The game is in Wenatchee at 7:00, and Johnson will need just one more RBI to win the league’s RBI crown.

The Sox will also be looking for their 30th win of the season in tonight’s clash.

The game will be available on the TuneIn app on your phones or on the web at www.tunein.com. Search KCSY-FM and you can catch the game this evening there.

Also this morning:

Soccer: Despite Valley player’s contribution, Sky Blue falls in NWSL action
The New York/New Jersey-based Sky Blue FC pro women’s soccer team fell at home in Piscataway, NJ, this past Friday night, 4-1, to the visiting Washington (DC) Spirit, dropping SBFC under .500 on the season at 7-8-2 on the season.

2008 Mount Si High School grad Nikki Stanton, from North Bend, started in the midfield for Sky Blue in the contest and worked 66 minutes, firing one shot on goal, but recording no goals.

Sky Blue heads down to Florida this weekend for a game Saturday against the Orlando Pride.

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Johnson helps put college summer team closer to playoffs, plus other diamond cuts on this Sunday

Good Sunday morning. Light Sunday for you. All baseball.

We start in the college summer ranks, and the West Coast League’s North Division second-half season championship hunt is coming down to the final day of the regular season today, and a Valleyite had a hand in making that happen last night.

Snoqualmie’s Evan Johnson, a 2014 Mount Si High School grad, went 2-5, scoring a run and driving in another, helping the Wenatchee Apple Sox rout the Bellingham Bells 11-1 at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham. Wenatchee with the win now is in a must-win situation today, just ½ game behind first-place Victoria at 14-11 overall in the second half. Victoria, who rallied to beat Port Angeles last night, is at 15-11 in the second half of the league season, while Bellingham is also right there at 14-12.

Johnson will be a senior this fall at the University of Northern Colorado and his performance last night pretty much ensured his season will finish well, with him batting above. 300 (he’s hitting .327 this season going into today’s possible final game).

Today looks like this: Victoria is at Port Angeles for a 1:00 p.m. first pitch this afternoon, then Wenatchee’s game against the Bells is at 3:00 p.m. If necessary, the Apple Sox have one additional game against Corvallis from last week’s smoked-out series to make up, and that likely will be made up tomorrow or Tuesday in Wenatchee should it be required for the playoffs. We’ll keep you posted.

Also this morning:

Third Mount Si grad gets D-I scholarship: On the heels of a stellar season with Mount Si this past spring that saw him make the Washington State Coaches Association’s All-State team and play in the All-State games in Yakima, infielder – and recent Wildcat grad – Mason Marenco has landed a NCAA Division I college opportunity.

Marenco, who had originally been slated to play next spring at Lower Columbia Community College in Kelso, has picked up a scholarship from Gonzaga University and has signed a letter of intent to play for the Bulldogs. Marenco will not be the first recent Wildcat infielder to don the Bulldogs’ colors, either – fellow second baseman Dustin Breshears, who graduated from Mount Si in 2011, spent two seasons with the Bulldogs in 2015 and 2016, hitting a decent .263 with GU in 2016 with four doubles and 23 RBI’s as the starting Bulldog 2B.

Gonzaga is a member of the West Coast Conference and located in Spokane. Marenco joins fellow 2017 Mount Si grads Gavin Gorrell (Northern Colorado) and Matt Dolewski (Grand Canyon (AZ)) to sign D-I scholarship offers.

Buhner sees limited work for Phils: Fall City’s Gunnar Buhner got a chance, albeit a small one, to play for the Philadelphia Phillies’ rookie minor-league team in their game against the Atlanta Braves’ rookies in Clearwater, FL. The 2013 Mount Si HS grad, who signed with Philadelphia as a free agent back in June following his graduation from Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho, pinch-ran for Philly in the ninth inning of their Gulf Coast “Rookie” league game, but did not score a run. Atlanta was able to pull it out in the end, taking a wild one in 11 innings, 7-6, dropping the Phillies’ record to 21-13 on the season. As for Buhner, he’s just 5-32 (.156) in 14 games this season in limited action. The Valleyite has one double, scored five runs and driven in two more.

Posted in College Sports, On the Diamond | Comments Off on Johnson helps put college summer team closer to playoffs, plus other diamond cuts on this Sunday

Saturday diamond cuts

Good Saturday morning. We have some news once again from the diamond this morning.

We start with minor league baseball, and a Valley pitcher got another chance to face off with the minors’ most talked about player last night, but the end result wasn’t the same as it was earlier this season.

North Bend’s Trevor Lane took on outfielder Tim Tebow when the two players competed against one another in the class “A” South Atlantic League earlier this season, Lane pitching for the New York Yankees-affiliated Charleston River Dogs while Tebow, the former football star, was playing for the New York Mets-affiliated Columbia Fireflies. Lane was successful against Tebow in those outings, with a couple of strikeouts to show for it. Well, both players earned midseason promotions to the Florida State “advanced A” league, Lane to the Yankees-affiliated team in Tampa and Tebow to the Mets-affiliated squad in St. Lucie. The two faced off last night, and this time, it was Tebow who got the last laugh.

He doubled off Lane in the sixth inning, but that ended up really being the only blemish for the 2012 Mount Si High School grad, as Lane allowed one unearned run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out four, and received no decision for Tampa in the Yankees’ 9-4 win over St. Lucie at the Mets’ spring training facilities in that Florida community. Lane’s earned run average is now 4.50 with Tampa, but overall on the season between Charleston and Tampa, he’s 5-3 with a strong 1.35 earned run average. He is in his second pro season after being drafted by the Bronx Bombers last year.

The Yankees, with the win, moved to 65-45 on the season. They are 26-14 in the second half of FSL play, and won the first half portion of the season, so they have a playoff spot already locked up.

Tampa continues their series with St. Lucie through tomorrow.

Wenatchee on the brink of missing playoffs after loss despite contribution from Valleyite: Despite a 1-4 effort with a run scored from Evan Johnson, a 2014 Mount Si High School grad from Snoqualmie and senior-to-be at Northern Colorado University, the Wenatchee Apple Sox fell last night to the Bellingham Bells 7-3 up in Whatcom County in the first of three to wrap up the West Coast college summer league’s regular season. The loss means that the Sox now must win out tonight and tomorrow to be in position potentially for the playoffs. Wenatchee’s game tonight is at 6:30 p.m., then tomorrow’s is at 3:00, both at Joe Martin Field.

Simmons homer not enough for Bellevue team in heartbreaking loss to end season: A homer from Mount Si softball player Sam Simmons proved to not be enough in the end, as the northern California-based OBS Monarchs scored three runs in the sixth inning and outlasted the Bellevue Blast ’00 18U club team 10-9 at the USA Softbal 18U Nationals down in Salem, OR, yesterday, ending the Bellevue team’s run at the tournament and their season. Simmons finished 2-4 with a run scored and three RBI’s on the day leading the Blast.

Posted in College Sports, On the Diamond | Comments Off on Saturday diamond cuts

Johnson sets college summer club team RBI mark, plus other news from the diamond on this Friday

Good Friday morning. Time for some diamond cuts as we get rolling toward another hot, dry, and smoky summer weekend.

We start with some history last night down in Corvallis, OR. A Valleyite now stands alone in the history books for his college summer team.

Snoqualmie’s Evan Johnson had a solid doubleheader last night for his Wenatchee Apple Sox, going 2-3 with a run scored and RBI in the opener, then 2-4 with a double, another run and two RBI’s in the nightcap, as the Sox moved one step closer to a postseason berth with a split of their West Coast League doubleheader with the Corvallis Knights, a twinbill caused by cancellations and the subsequent move of this week’s series of contests between the two teams from Wenatchee, where they were originally scheduled, down to Oregon due to the smoky conditions also enveloping north central Washington.

Johnson’s hit in the first inning of the opener drove in his one run in that game and with that, he became the all-time season RBI leader in Apple Sox history with 49. Wenatchee took a 4-0 lead after one, before Corvallis responded with seven runs to take the lead in the second. With the score still 7-4 Corvallis going into the bottom of the seventh and last inning (both games were seven innings last night), Wenatchee scored six times to win it 10-7, with the winning hit being a three-run homer from Johnson’s teammate Jake Taylor. Corvallis came back in the nightcap and took the early lead, this time not relinquishing it, and they posted a 6-3 win in that contest.

With the split, Wenatchee now must win two of three this weekend in Bellingham in their final regular season series of the summer to put themselves in position to go to the playoffs. Tonight’s game is at 6:30 at Joe Martin Field, smoke conditions permitting.

Other news from the diamond this morning:

North Bend’s Karalus locks door on Charlotte win: North Bend pitcher Reece Karalus helped slam the door shut for his minor league baseball team, the Charlotte Stone Crabs, as the Florida State League class “advanced A” team posted a road shutout win last night.

Karalus worked a perfect ninth, striking out one and seeing his earned run average improve to just over four runs a contest, to pick up his second save of the season as the Tampa Bay Rays-affiliated Stone Crabs blanked the host Dunedin Blue Jays, affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays, 2-0 in Dunedin, FL, outside of Tampa.

The 2012 MSHS alum, in his third pro season after the Rays drafted him out of college in 2015, has seen his numbers steadily improve over the past month, headlined by a couple of strong long relief outings a couple of weeks ago.

Charlotte continues its series with Dunedin through the weekend, then returns home to meet Jupiter next Monday-Wednesday. Next weekend’s games between the Stone Crabs and Bradenton will be webstreamed on MILB.tv. More information on that is in our minor league webcast information page you can access in our top menu bar.

Mount Si’s Simmons helps keep Bellevue team alive at nationals: Wildcat Sam Simmons doubled to headline a 2-3 performance, scoring three runs and driving in two more to help her Bellevue Blast ’00 club squad win an 11-7 loser-out slugfest last night at the USA Softball 18U national tournament in Salem, OR, over the Oregon-based Bat Company Gold. Newport High’s Noelle Thomas homered for the Blast, who play another loser-out battle later today at the event, which runs through this weekend.

Posted in College Sports, On the Diamond | Comments Off on Johnson sets college summer club team RBI mark, plus other news from the diamond on this Friday