Shaun Scott, staff photo The Eastside Catholic Crusaders baseball team is led by collegiate bound senior pitchers Justin Armbruester (Pacific Lutheran University), Cole Galvagno (University of Washington) and Jackson Bandow (Yale University). Eastside Catholic currently has a record of 14-5 overall.

Crusaders trio dominates on the hill

In 2016, the Eastside Catholic Crusaders baseball team saw their season come to an end courtesy of a 3-1 loss to the Sumner Spartans in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament.

The crushing defeat certainly has lingered in the minds of pitchers Jackson Bandow, Justin Armbruester and Cole Galvagno since last May. The senior trio hopes to lead the Crusaders to a Class 3A state championship this season. All three of Eastside Catholic’s prolific pitchers on the hill will play collegiate baseball next season on the diamond. Bandow will play at Yale University, Armbruester has committed to Pacific Lutheran University and Galvagno will be an invited walk-on at the University of Washington. Galvagno wants to see his squad redeem themselves after last season’s early exit from the postseason.

“We got knocked out in the first round last year and it left a bitter taste in our mouths. We’re just really excited to get back after it and make a run this season. The goal is to win a state championship. We just have to take it one game at a time,” Galvagno said.

The Crusaders have built a 14-5 record thus far. Eastside Catholic has won 12 of their past 14 games since going on a three-game losing streak in mid-March. Bandow, who tossed a no-hitter against the Garfield Bulldogs on March 25, isn’t surprised his team righted the ship after a sluggish start in early season action.

“This is a really solid team. We’re all excited to grow and connect as a team. That is what we have showed in the last couple of games. We struggled early and now we are getting into (Metro) league and we are really starting to take off and are starting to get on a roll,” Bandow said. “I can’t wait to see what we can do this year.”

The Crusaders “big three” are thankful they’ve already chosen their respective college destinations.

“I grew up as a Husky. My whole family went to UW and I have been a diehard Husky fan ever since I could walk. For me there was really no choice. It was always a dream school and once I got the call getting the invite my heart was racing,” Galvagno said.

Armbruester committed to PLU earlier this spring.

“For me I didn’t really know where I wanted to go until this spring. The pitching coach (Sean Taunt) down there really started recruiting me pretty hard. I liked what he preached. I went on a couple of visits and I just found that was the home for me,” Armbruester said.

The Crusaders trio know they’re one of the few teams in Washington with three collegiate-bound arms on the varsity roster.

“We are all dominant in our own ways. It is just awesome to be able to know that the next guy up on the bump is going to do well. We are all confident in each other and we all believe we can excel,” Galvagno said.

The Crusaders senior hurlers know there is a sense of urgency with not much time remaining in their high school athletic careers.

“It makes me want to push everyday and work as hard as I can because I know everyday could be the last one. I want to work hard because I know I don’t have very much time left with these boys,” Armbruester said.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Worker at 3A, 4A state basketball tournament tests positive for COVID-19

In a statement released on March 13, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association… Continue reading

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Eagles hold on, take fourth at state

Issaquah held on for a 67-56 victory over Todd Beamer in the girls 4A state tournament.

Issaquah picks up character win over Moses Lake

The Eagles made nine 3-pointers to beat the Chiefs and advance to the fourth-place game.

Issaquah outworked on the boards in loss

The Eagles were outrebounded 42-18 in loss to Central Valley in state quarterfinals.

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Issaquah shows toughness in victory over Kentridge

The Issaquah girls basketball team opened the 4A state tournament with 57-35 win.

Most school events, including sports practices, on schedule after coronavirus outbreak

All the school districts in the Reporter’s coverage areas — Northshore, Lake… Continue reading