CHS baseball team swinging for the fences

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DUVALL - The Cedarcrest High School baseball team finished in eighth place last year - a disappointing last. This year they hope to change all that.

Four seniors return to the varsity squad: Nick Blanchard, Nick Rich, Matt Geiger and Dan Amador. Junior, Sean McDonald, also returns.

The team lost utility player Marc Medley and pitcher R.J. Wickstrom to graduation last year. Both Medley and Wickstrom were named second team, all-KingCo League players. Wickstrom had 13 RBIs, while Medley had nine for the season. Cedarcrest is also without Matt Cain and Cody Wheeler, who received KingCo honorable-mention last year.

Coach Doug Hall said his returning players, as well as new pitchers John Carskaddon and Brian Richards, will have good seasons, but one thing the team lacks is experienced pitching. This year's team has three returning pitchers: Blanchard, Rich and Amador, and newcomers Steven Powell and Derek Gremmert will help, as well.

The team traveled to Laughlin, Nev., to play its first non-league season opener on March 9, winning by a score of 9-8. Their next stop was at Lakewood High School, where they also won 7-6.

However, when the Red Wolves moved into league play last Tuesday night, the winning streak ended with a loss to Newport 2-1. Last year, Newport was 15-3 and captured second place in KingCo. Newport lost to Issaquah in the fourth round of the league playoffs. A win would have propelled them to state.

Despite having two all-league players and two honorable mentions on its team last year, Cedarcrest's league record was only 4-14, tying the team with Bellevue and Interlake, who lost their first league games last week. Skyline beat Bellevue 8-3, and Liberty beat Interlake 7-1.

Cedarcrest plays Interlake at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at Tolt Middle School. The next game is against Mount Si High School at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, April 2, at Mount Si.

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