Sports

Mount Si baseball seeks a trip to the big stage

The Mount Si baseball team is anchored this spring by a solid veteran core, including outfielder Jack Robinson, infielder Zach Guyer and first baseman Alex Hiebert. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
The Mount Si baseball team is anchored this spring by a solid veteran core, including outfielder Jack Robinson, infielder Zach Guyer and first baseman Alex Hiebert.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Hard work and conditioning are the tools that the Mount Si baseball team is using in the construction process this spring, as it aims to grow into a top league contender.

Coach Chaz Carr is back for his second season with the ‘Cats, who went 8-9 last season, 7-9 in league.

Mount Si returns several solid players, many of them juniors.

“The legs feed the wolf, and we’re going to run them hard every day,” Carr said. “We’re a blue collar team. We’re going to outwork everybody and we take pride in that.”

The veterans are led by pitchers Frank Tassara and Taylor Campbell and infielder Danny Cavanaugh. Senior Alex Hiebert will provide leadership to this group. A strong sophomore class includes Tim Proudfoot, Dustin Breshears and Rob Lane.

“We’ll just try and work hard and go to state, hopefully win state,” Cavanaugh said excitedly.

Cavanaugh sees a lot of promise in his teammates and coach.

Carr “doesn’t want this talent wasted, so he’s putting us to work, making sure that we get the best of our talent,” the junior said.

Turnout numbers were down a little bit this year, “but we expected that,” the coach said. Last year’s huge freshman class contributed to the numbers that Mount Si had last year.

“This year we’ll be young still, but everybody’s also going to be experienced with being young,” Carr said. “They know the coaches. There’s not going to be that adjustment period like there was last year.”

The Wildcats’ building process will be helped by a weaker schedule this season, as three of the top programs in 3A baseball last season — Newport, Issaquah and Skyline — move to 4A this season. Mount Si will likely battle Mercer Island, Bellevue and Liberty for that top spot, but shouldn’t count out Sammamish. The Totems, who gave the Wildcats fits last season, are also an up-and-coming program.

A change in the schedule format this year has each team playing league opponents three times this season, once back-to-back. This makes the league, which Carr believes is among the best in the state, more competitive.

“This year, it’s going to be different,” Carr said. “In the past, if you only play each other twice and if you don’t play us back to back, then you might see the same number one. If you’ve got [a single] number one, you can really carry your weight through the league.”

This year, with Mount Si playing everyone three times, “everybody’s playing back to back. The way the league looks this year, I think that whoever finishes first place, they’re going to have five or six losses minimum.”

There are two nonleague games on the schedule. The first is Friday, March 13, at former Seamount rival Kennedy. The second is the feature game on this year’s calendar, 4 p.m., Saturday, April 11, against Auburn Mountainview at Safeco Field.

“It’s always a high school baseball player’s dream to play in a big league ballpark. We get a chance to do that, and hopefully we’ll be back there at the end of the season, too,” Hiebert said.

Carr wants to make the Safeco trip permanent.

“It’s going to be our Senior Day,” he said. “Hopefully, we can get invited back year-in and year-out, and turn that into a tradition out here. Kids, even when they’re 10, 11 years old, can look at that and say ‘Hey, when I’m a senior, I get to play in Safeco Field,’”

Carr invites fans to see what his team is all about.

“Come watch us,” he said. “We tell our kids that they have to have pride in not only themselves and the team and the high school, but also the Valley.”

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