Fresh faces, fast feet

Mount Si is looking forward to the 2018 season on the diamond.

Last season, the Mount Si Wildcats were a senior-laden squad that dominated its opponents in KingCo 4A action.

That team finished in a tie for first place with the Issaquah Eagles in the KingCo 4A Conference during the regular season and saw its season come to an abrupt halt courtesy of a 7-6 loss to the those same Eagles in a winner-to-state, loser-out KingCo 4A playoff contest.

The loss of 12 seniors from that team, including Class 4A all-state selections Mason Marenco and Gavin Gorrell, leaves some big shoes to fill. But the Wildcats are returning a bevy of eager players—including nine seniors—who have been waiting for their chance to shine in the lineup.

“We graduated eight of our nine starters,” coach Zach Habben said. “A lot of the seniors this year don’t have a lot of game experience. We’re pretty green but we’ve had great practices to start the season. It is nice having senior leadership and we are finding out right now who is going to take control and be the leaders out on the field.”

One new positive chanve that Habben expects to see is a more aggressive approach on the base-paths.

“We’re definitely going to have more speed than we had last year,” he said. “Our pitching and defense will be pretty solid.”

There will be some growing pains, though. The Wildcats lost 6-0 to the Sumner Spartans in their season opener March 10.

“With hitting we’ve just got to find our way,” Habben said on March 15 before practice kicked off at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue. “We lost a tough one against Sumner. We’re working hard this week on figuring out our swings and approaches at the plate. We’re doing everything we can to be ready for next week.”

The Wildcats were scheduled to compete in four games in five days from March 19-23. As of press time, results of these contests were unavailable.

Head coach: Zach Habben

Last year: 13-8 overall (Finished tied for first place in the KingCo 4A Division in the regular season)

Key players: Spencer Marenco, SS/2B; Tank Brewster, P; Clayton Waltz, C; Michael Collins, 1B/P; Logan Van Campen, CF.