Coach sees improved defense, pitching by committee

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If pitching and defense are the two elements it takes to make a

winning baseball team, then the Cedarcrest Red Wolves should book themselves

a place in the KingCo playoffs.

Head coach Doug Hall is confident his team will play an improved

brand of defense this season, especially with his middle infielders. Add in the

pitching of senior Marc Medley and the pieces begin to fall into place.

"We'll play some pretty good defense, but we lack quality

pitching once we get past seniors Marc Medley and Justin Garland," Hall told

the Valley Record. "After those two, we will be pitching by committee. I

can't see anybody else going more than two innings."

Last year's Red Wolves posted a 5-13 record, good enough for

eighth place in the 10-team conference. Hall expects the defending

champion Issaquah Indians to be favored to top KingCo again, followed by a mass

of improved teams vying for playoff positions.

Cedarcrest will enter this season without its best player from last

year, catcher Mike McDonald. Last season's senior was the only

player selected to the KingCo all-conference first team as its designated hitter.

"It'll be hard to replace Mike," said Hall. "He hit for average and with

a lot of power. But we'll score a lot of runs this year too, just maybe not

in bunches like we did last year."

Centerfielder Casey Peterson, who was an all-league honorable

mention, returns to lead the Red Wolves. He will be teamed with senior catcher

Matt Cain and Nick Blanchard, a junior who anchors the middle infield.

Returning to the starting line-up for the Red Wolves will be transfer

R. J. Wickstrom, who played at Cedarcrest as a freshman and

then moved to Eastlake High School on the Sammamish Plateau for two

years. Wickstrom plays both second and shortstop.

Senior Cody Wheeler, who was also an honorable mention

outfielder on the all-King squad, will play alongside Peterson in the Red Wolves'


The team had its first action of the season in a jamboree at

Shorewood High School against Lakeside, Woodinville and Shorewood. Hall

was especially impressed by the pitching of Medley and junior Dan

Amador. Neither Cedarcrest pitcher gave up a hit in Saturday's preseason


The Red Wolves begin play this week after a long road trip to San

Diego to face Mt. Empire and Julian high schools in Southern California.

The varsity and junior varsity squads will each take on their counterparts

during the five-day excursion.

Cedarcrest opened the KingCo season on Tuesday with a

matchup against the Newport Knights at Tolt Field in Carnation.

Thursday the Wolves go back on the road again, but this time only

as far as Renton for a clash against the Liberty Patriots. The first game of

the year against Issaquah is scheduled the next week back in Carnation.

Cedarcrest is scheduled to play Mount Si twice during the regular

season. The first cross-Valley battle is slated for Friday, March 31, at

Tolt. The Wolves will return the favor and travel up the mountain to

Snoqualmie for a game on Monday, April 24.

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