Photo Credit: Eastside Catholic Baseball
First off congratulations to Kamiakin on their victory last Saturday, defeating Eastside Catholic and winning the 2012 3A State Baseball Championship. But now it's time to take a step back and conduct a season review of the Metro League. Who were the best players, coaches and teams? Find out below.
Success? : Many people counted out the Metro League to be competitive this year, and were focused on other top divisions: KingCo, Big Nine, SPSL. A total of four teams from the Metro Conference made it to the State Regionals, and two teams, Blanchet and Eastside Catholic, made it all the way to Pasco. We were even close to seeing Blanchet and Eastside face each other in the title game. If Blanchet doesn’t blow their lead in the 7th inning, you could be reading an article on the Metro League capturing its third title in the last five years.
Despite Eastside Catholic losing in the state championship game, this season was a success. During regionals, Eastside Catholic defeated the No. 2 team in the state and one of the favorites to win the tournament, Mount Vernon. Unranked Blanchet knocked off the No. 6 ranked team in state, Mountain View, in their regional. To add on to the success the league had this year, let’s go back to the regular season and look at Seattle Prep. Yes they did fall short of Regionals this year, but in the regular season they were the best team in state, with a top pitching rotation and an undefeated record/No. 1 state ranking.
Future? : There is a bright future for this league next year. I believe a state baseball championship returning to this league is very possible. This year a lot of quality ball players were underclassmen. I expect these players to improve over the offseason and only continue to get better and look to have a monster 2013 season.
For O’Dea, next year they’ll basically return their whole starting lineup. Look for players like Dylan Wade, Scottie Graham, Pierre LeDorze, and Sam Moran to produce and possibly grade 1st Team All-Metro.
Chief Sealth could be a team that makes a run next year, as they’ll return four of their star hitters next year (C.J. Hicks, Marley Lucas, Izac Bauer, and Aiden Behar.) Watch out for the Seahawks next year!
Eastside Catholic does take hit by losing their star hitters Jeff Bohling and Braden Wolgamott, as well as Luke Shepherd. This team does return some great role players next year that could lead this team to a second straight Metro Title. The Crusaders will have a solid hitter in Hayden Meier, and return their two star pitchers Blake Gillespie and Alex Foley, as well as Travis Ulvestead. Foley will be the best pitcher in the Metro League next year.
Hale will have their star pitcher Juliis Pruzinskis next year, who I believe will have a solid year on the mound next season.
Seattle Prep will have a tough time on the offensive side as they lose Metro Player of the Year, Nick Pribble, Jackson Clough and Jason Books. However this team does return their solid pitching staff, Jack Roger, Max Winklehake and Nate Richards. With Gavin Lewis leaving, it looks like Brady Price will be the closer next year.
Finally, West Seattle will return their star pitcher, Sam Hellinger who led this team to Regionals and will look to lead the Wildcats towards a Metro Title. The Wildcats also will have their star player, Latrey Newsome, who was out this entire season with a torn ACL. Newsome will be a senior next year and is already getting looked at by Pac-12 schools. With all the talent returning next year, the Metro League will be a competitive league next year and could be up there with some of the top leagues in 3A.
Grades: These grades are only for the teams that made the Metro Tournament.
Eastside Catholic: A : The Crusaders get an A this year due to their outstanding postseason performance. This team did have success in the regular season, only losing to Seattle Prep, Blanchet, Newport and Bellevue. Postseason was where they shined: Winning the Metro Championship, defeating No. 2 ranked in Mount Vernon in Regionals and finishing in 2nd place overall in State.
Bishop Blanchet: A- : Despite struggling in the regular season, this team got it together in the postseason. They defeated No. 1 Seattle Prep in the Metro Tournament and were even a couple outs away from winning the Metro Championship. The Braves won their Regional defeating No. 6 Mountain View and made it to Pasco for the State Final Four.
O’Dea: B+ : The Irish had an emotional year with their star Josh Dickerson struggling with cancer, but handled it the right way and battled. They took third in the Metro Tournament and made it to regionals, losing to Kelso in the first game.
Seattle Prep: B+ : Even though they fell short of regionals, the Panthers earn a B+ due to how dominant they were in the regular season, going undefeated, having one of the best pitching staffs in state and earning a No. 1 ranking for half the regular season.
West Seattle: B : This team did struggle in the regular season, but pulled off the biggest shocker of the year; defeating No. 1 ranked Seattle Prep in the Metro Tournament. The Wildcats were able to sneak into Regionals which is why they earn a B this year.
Chief Sealth: B- : The Seahawks surprised a lot of people this year, including myself. They were competitive this entire season, defeating West Seattle, Nathan Hale, and were one out away from defeating O’Dea in the Metro Tournament. (read article here) This team exceeded expectations and will be a team to watch next year.
Nathan Hale: C+ : This team struggled this year, but did defeat O’Dea and almost defeated Eastside Catholic in the Metro Tournament. They were also competitive against Blanchet and Seattle Prep as well.
Ingraham: C- : The only reason I give Ingraham a C- was because they made the Metro Tournament and did defeat Chief Sealth this year which is a quality win.
MVP: Nick Pribble, Seattle Prep (read interview here)
Runner up: Jeff Bohling, Eastside Catholic
Pitcher of the Year: Tony Davila, O’Dea
Runner up: Alex Foley, Eastside Catholic
Coach of the Year: Kyle Larsen, Eastside Catholic
Upset of the Year: Unranked West Seattle over No. 1 ranked Seattle Prep (read article here)
--Evan Baron (BaselineBaron09)