In the world of American Legion Senior baseball, this summer’s Lakeside Recovery AAA team is considered a budding group.
“It’s probably one of the youngest teams I’ve had,” said manager Rob Reese, who’s in his 24th year at the helm. “We have a lot of juniors on this team.”
The roster — made up of Issaquah, Skyline and Newport high school players — consists of 11 athletes who just concluded their junior seasons. Five players graduated in 2011 and just two — Mike Paulson (Walla Walla CC) and Connor Lawhead (Walla Walla CC) — have college experience.
Despite the younger roster, Reese feels good about the product on the field.
“It’s a really good group,” he said.
After three weeks of play, Lakeside is 9-2 in league and 13-6 overall. The strength of this year’s group starts with the pitching staff. Of its 18 players, 11 are pitchers.The staff consists of Brandon Lundeberg (Skyline), Wes Blackburn (Skyline), Connor Gilchrist (Skyline), Matt Lunde (Skyline), Travis Snider (Skyline), Andrew Kemmerer (Issaquah), Ethan Kalin (Issaquah), Brandon Mahovlich (Issaquah), Aaron Sandefur (Newport) Lawhead and Paulson.
Lakeside is also solid in the field with the experience of catcher Jimmy Sinatro (Skyline), shortstop Kyle Goemmer (Newport), second baseman Jake Bakamus (Issaquah) and outfielder Nate Anderson (Newport).
“We’re going to play pretty good defense,” Reese said. “It’s just a matter of scoring enough runs. We’re a younger group offensively, so that’s part of maturing.”
There’s little question what the goals are for Lakeside, which has made the state tournament every year since 1995.
“That’s a goal every year, to be in that group and try to win it,” Reese said.
Bellingham cools Lakeside bats
Lakeside had a five-game win streak come to an end Tuesday afternoon, falling 10-2 to Bellingham Post 7.
Bellingham’s right-handed submarine pitcher Tait Slesk kept Lakeside’s bats at bay most the night. He allowed just four hits over a complete seven innings.
Wes Blackburn went 2-for-3 with a double, run scored and an RBI single. Four of Bellingham’s eight hits were for extra bases, including John Albert’s solo home run to lead off the fourth inning. Post 7 also benefitted from six walks and one hit batter from a combined four Lakeside pitchers.
Lakeside begins the Palouse Summer Series today against the Puget Sound Roxx. The five-day tournament continues through Sunday in Pullman.