Wolves baseball set to take a leap
A heartbreaking 3-2 loss in eight innings against the rival Skyline Spartans cost the Eastlake Wolves a berth in the KingCo 4A playoffs last May.
The Wolves are determined to not let that happen again. Head coach Frank Smith, who is in his fourth season, said this year’s squad is the most talented team he’s ever had at Eastlake.
“We return almost everybody and we’re in a pretty good situation on the bump (pitching). We return all but 14 innings from last year. We have a lot of experience. The last few years we’ve been really young but the pups are starting to grow up a little bit,” Smith said with a smile.
The Wolves pitching staff is deep and will include ace Michael Hansell, Aaron Barokas, Nate Fitzgibbons and Connor Brown. While the hurlers are talented, Smith said the offense will have to improve in order for his squad to take the next step on the diamond.
“We need to hit when runners are on second base and we need to find a way to push runs across. The last couple of years we’ve been fine on the bump and fine in the field but we’ve got to find a way to score a little bit more runs and get more offense going,” Smith said.
Smith said shortstop Dalton Chandler and Braxton Diaz are two of the best hitters on the squad.
“Dalton led our team in hitting and Diaz was right there at around .300 batting average. We also have a lot of speedy guys and we should be able to run a little bit,” Smith said.
Smith said the entire baseball program had record attendance at winter workouts.
“This is a commmitted group of kids,” he said.
Head coach: Frank Smith
Last year: 10-10 overall; finished in seventh place in the KingCo 4A Division in the regular season
Key returners: Dalton Chandler, SS; Braxton Diaz, C; Calvin Kirchoff, 3B; Michael Hansell, P; Aaron Barokas, P; Nate Fitzgibbons, P; Connor Brown, P.
Softball fields a talent-packed team
Eastlake Wolves softball head coach Stephanie Fox is eagerly anticipating the 2018 season on the softball field.
Fox said this year’s team is the most talented she’s ever had during her four-year tenure with the squad. The Wolves return 12 players from a 2017 team that won 15 games.
“I really feel that this team is so talented. They’re meshing well together and the seniors are really driving the bus. They have a goal in mind and the leadership is just impeccable. It is really fun to watch. It is going to be a great season,” Fox said.
The Wolves return KingCo 4A first-team all-league first baseman Sophia Robinson and second-team all-league shortstop Emma Bickford to the starting lineup. Wolves’ starters returning this spring include Belle DeOliveira (outfielder), Georgia Robinson (third base), Kailey Mohammed (catcher), Ryan Vogel (outfielder) and Lilly Davidson (outfielder). Fox is determined to lead the Wolves to a state championship in the near future. Fox was a player on a Wolves squad that won the Class 4A state title during the 2008 season.
“It has been 10 years since the last state championship. I want it and I want it for our girls,” Fox said of a state title. “I love this school and I love the atmosphere of this program.”
Head coach: Stephanie Fox
Last year: 15-6 overall; captured third place in the KingCo 4A Division during regular season
Key returners: Sophia Robinson, 1B; Emma Bickford, SS; Belle DeOliveira, OF; Georgia Robinson, 3B; Kailey Mohammed, C; Ryan Vogel, OF; Lilly Davidson, OF