Grittiness propels Eagles on diamond / Column

Issaquah baseball squad clinches berth in 4A state semifinals.

The Issaquah Eagles baseball team experienced its season being on the verge of extinction on five different occasions during the 2019 postseason.

Each time the Eagles came through with a clutch victory in a do-or-die situation with their season on the line. Issaquah clinched a berth at the 4A state semifinals courtesy of a 7-5 win against the Tahoma Bears in the 4A state quarterfinals on May 18. Earlier in the day, Issaquah captured a 5-1 win against the Camas Papermakers in a loser-out, first round state playoff game.

The Eagles (18-9) will face the Olympia Bears in the 4A state semifinals at 4 p.m. on May 24 at Gesa Stadium in Pasco.

I’m not surprised in the least bit Issaquah has battled its way to Pasco since the playoffs kicked off on May 2. Issaquah head coach Rob Reese, who has been the skipper of the baseball program for the past 26 years, is undoubtedly one of the finest high school baseball coaches in Washington. In 26 seasons, Reese has compiled 418 career victories since taking over the program in 1994. When you have a coach in the dugout with that kind of a resume, it creates an abundance of confidence.

Issaquah ace pitcher Brady Liddle raved about Reese’s coaching style this past April during an interview with the Reporter.

“He is awesome and is a great coach. He demands a lot out of you but also cares about you,” Liddle said.

Not only do the Eagles have one of the premier coaches in all of Washington calling the signals in the dugout and on the third-base line, they have a talented group of players who thrive in pressure situations. The Eagles were well represented when the All-KingCo awards were recently announced. Eagles catcher/pitcher Tyler Odegard earned first-team, all-KingCo honors as a utility player. Eagles players capturing second-team, all-KingCo honors consisted of Lucas Senatore (outfield), Cooper Thieme (designated hitter), Tyler Reese (utility) and Liddle (pitcher).

The Eagles head into the state semifinals in Pasco this coming weekend having been battle-tested to the max throughout May. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they brought home a state championship trophy back to Issaquah over Memorial Day weekend.

More in Sports

Issaquah Eagles 2019 graduate Cooper Thieme will attend Montana State University this fall. Thieme, who will not continue his baseball career in college, plans on majoring in mechanical engineering. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Thieme will always cherish final season of high school baseball

Issaquah 2019 grad Cooper Thieme reflects on final season on the diamond.

Goucher to host summer baseball camp on Eastside

Former professional baseball player and Atlanta Braves scout Steve Goucher will conduct… Continue reading

Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez, left, and Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone, right, collaborated on a book titled, “Edgar: An Autobiography.” Martinez and Stone attended a book signing on June 12 at Barnes Noble in Bellevue. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Legendary Mariner meets a plethora of fans

Edgar Martinez visits Bellevue Barnes & Noble to promote his book.

Issaquah Eagles football player Solomon Hawkins (No. 45) gives maximum effort in the broad jump on June 3 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Eagles conduct combine in anticipation of the 2019 season

New head football coach Josh Brookshire implements his mode of operation immediately.

Issaquah Eagles senior Taiga Crenshaw (pictured) earned first-team, all league honors as a midfielder during the 2019 season. Crenshaw will continue his soccer career at Loyola University Chicago next season. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Eagles soccer squad collects bevy of awards

Issaquah boys soccer team advanced to 4A state quarterfinals this spring.

Tami Reese, who previously was the head volleyball coach at Ballard High School for 20 seasons, is the new varsity head coach of the Issaquah Eagles volleyball squad. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Reese will lead the Issaquah volleyball program

Former Ballard Beavers head coach lands head-coaching position at Issaquah.

Issaquah Eagles sophomore hurdler Matt Wilkinson finished in first place in the 300 hurdles at the 4A KingCo track championships with a time of 39.85. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Wilkinson captures first-place finish in 300 hurdles

Sophomore is proving himself on the track.

Issaquah Eagles senior Sam Griffith earned first place in the 800 at 2019 4A KingCo track championships at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Griffith earns first place in the 800

Issaquah senior finishes in top spot.

Issaquah Eagles sophomore Julia David-Smith captured first place at the 2019 KingCo Championships in the 4A girls 3,200 with a time of 10:59.05 on May 8 at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. David-Smith also earned a first-place finish in the 1,600 with a time of 5:00.37. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
David-Smith cruises to first place finishes in the 3,200 and 1,600

Issaquah distance runner continues to dominate.

Issaquah Eagles leadoff hitter Tyler Reese (pictured at the plate) prepares for a pitch unveiled by Jackson freshman pitcher Dominic Hellman in the top of the first inning. Issaquah defeated Jackson, 5-2, in a loser-out, 4A Wes-King playoff game on May 8 at Everett Memorial Stadium. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Resilient Eagles stay alive with triumph in loser-out game

Issaquah’s Jack Githens’ three-RBI double in the top of fourth was crucial.

Issaquah senior forward Gavin Herman battles with a Skyline player in front of the goal. Issaquah defeated Skyline, 3-1, to keep its season alive on May 7. Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography
Eagles defeat Spartans in loser-out game

Issaquah earns clutch victory.

Josh Brookshire, who coached for the past two seasons for the College of Idaho Yotes football program, was hired as the Issaquah Eagles head football coach on April 19. Photo courtesy of Josh Brookshire
Leader of the birds

Josh Brookshire lands Issaquah Eagles head football coaching position.