Still stinging from the abrupt end of their 2013 season, members of the Mountlake Terrace High School baseball team hope to take the lessons learned from last year and turn them into success on the diamond.
The Hawks play their first regular season game of the year on Wednesday, March 19, when they host the Lynnwood Royals at Mountlake Terrace High School. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
After posting a 12-8 record during the 2013 regular season, Terrace dropped two straight games in the 3A District 1 Tournament and had to pack up their bats and balls for the year. “We were disappointed last season going two-and-out in districts,” said Hawk Coach Andrew Watters. “Our team really grew up last year and we felt like we were in position to surprise people in the tournament.”
Watters returns a number of players from last year’s squad and is already noticing a spark in their eyes before this season’s slate of games have even begun. “So far I am seeing great leadership from all the players and I think that the experience from last season is serving as a great motivator to get back to the district tournament and hopefully beyond,” Watters said.
Key returning starters for the Hawks are third baseman Chase Perez, catcher Wyatt Allemann, shortstop Drew Serres and three pitchers, Dominic DeMiero, Jason Shevenko and Daniel Theis.
“I expect our strength to be our pitching, led by DeMeiro, Shevenko and Theis, and our defense, which is highly improved from last season,” Watters noted. “Offensively I think we will have a solid 1 through 9, with some nice speed on the bases.”
Other returners that Watters expects to make an impact for Terrace this year include Elliot Nebel, Jaden Yackley, Ben Reijonen and Michael Hunt.
Despite a roster that includes only six seniors, Watters believes that the varsity playing experience of many on the team will pay off throughout the season. “I expect us to play like a veteran team,” he said.
After three early-season, non-conference games, the Hawks will jump into Wesco League play on March 26. “I’m expecting Wesco South to be very competitive,” Watters explained. “Shorewood, Meadowdale and Glacier Peak will all be very good teams and our league will be a state-champion caliber level of play.”
Terrace won’t have to wait too long before finding out how they stand against one Wesco South rival; a three-game series against the Glacier Peak Grizzlies begins on April 1. You can view the entire MTHS schedule here.
Watters and his squad can’t get to the first games of the season soon enough. “We are looking forward to a great spring,” he said.
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski