Big league win at dream stadium

The Mount Si High School varsity baseball team lived their boyhood dreams and came home winners in a game last Saturday, April 24, in Seattle.

Mount Si scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally from behind and grab a 3-1 victory over the Kentwood Conquerors at Safeco Field, home of the Mariners.

The game was a pitchers’ duel throughout the first five innings. Wildcat starter Matt Bankston pitched the first two innings and only gave up one hit. Mount Si’s bats were also shut down by Kentwood pitchers, as they did not get a hit until the fifth inning, when Cooper Helm lined a single into right field. Bankston then hit a double, but the Wildcats could not score a run in the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Mount Si reliever Rossco Castagno, who started the game in center field, walked Kentwood catcher Taylor White with the bases loaded to score the lone Conqueror run from third base. But Mount Si’s offense bailed out their senior star, unloading on Kentwood pitcher Jordan Harris in the bottom of the inning.

With one out, Robb Lane hit a double to the right center field wall to score Max Brown and tie the game 1-1. That was followed up by a Reece Karalus single, which scored Lane to put the Wildcats in front. A Shane Dixon fielder’s choice with Karalus on at third scored the Mount Si sophomore to provide insurance, which came in handy in the seventh. That was when pitching ace Frank Tassara came in and slammed the door shut, striking out Kentwood’s Nik Stapleton to seal it up and hand the previously undefeated Conquerors their first loss of the season.

This is the second year that Mount Si has participated in what is known as the High School Baseball Classic. Wildcat coach Chaz Carr was thrilled with the opportunity to do this again, especially for the seniors.

“It’s a chance for them to go out, see their parents, get on the biggest stage in the state,” Carr said. “It’s enjoyable for everybody that comes to the ballpark.”

Wildcat senior Cody Lane, who started the game in the field and went 0-1 with a strikeout, was also excited.

“Some of my earliest memories watching baseball are at Safeco Field, one of the most beautiful facilities in the nation, if not the world, and it will be a dream come true to play on the field that I’ve watched so much baseball on,” Lane said.

A large number of Valley baseball fans also turned out. For the boys to play at Safeco, Wildcat boosters have to sell at least 1,000 tickets to an upcoming Mariners’ game, this year a June 3 matchup with the Minnesota Twins. Sales are still ongoing and will continue through June 2.

Mount Si baseball booster Greg Taylor said the local organization is very close to the 1,000-ticket threshold, but is thinking big.

“We’d like to see us surpass the 1,300 mark, which is the goal that was set for the team,” Taylor said.

Tickets are $15 and can be ordered online through the Mount Si baseball Web site at

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