Last season Mountlake Terrace rode the arms of a strong pitching staff all the way to a qualifying berth in the 3A State Baseball Tournament; with many of their hurlers back this year the team is hoping for a return trip to state.
The Hawks begins their quest on Tuesday, Mar. 17, as they open their 2015 season with a home matchup with the Kamiak Knights; first pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
Back on the mound this season for the Hawks will be senior Jason Shevenko, a fourth-year varsity member of the team who will also see plenty of action in the outfield.
Mountlake Terrace head coach Andrew Watters has set the bar high for Shevenko. “He will lead our pitching staff and is also a real key to our every day lineup,” Watters said. “I expect him to have a great season.”
Other returning pitchers for the Hawks this year include Ben Reijonen, Jesse Prothero and Raiden Silva.
When not on the mound, Reijonen will help anchor what is expected to be a sturdy defensive infield. Junior Drew Serres, who has already committed to play college baseball at Oregon State, will again be at shortstop, newcomer Zayn Phillips is expected to play at second base, and senior Jaden Yackley returns at third base.
Serres has become a favorite of scouts looking for young talent on the diamond. “Drew is a fantastic player,” Watters said. “He has really stepped up and has become a true leader for our team. His ability speaks for itself. He is one of the best defensive players I’ve ever coached and he plays every day with great enthusiasm.”
Yackley had what Watters called “a breakthrough year” in 2014. As a junior the third baseman earned an all-Wesco 3A first team selection, led the Hawks in hitting with a .413 batting average, and led the team in runs scored and triples.
To fill a big hole left by the graduation of all-league first team selection Wyatt Allemann, Watters will call upon junior Nolan Takeya to handle most of the catching duties.
Jumping into the outfield on a full-time basis this season will be sophomore Adam Lorraine. “I think that Adam will have a big year for us,” Watters said.
The Wesco 3A South, always filled with strong teams, is expected to present the Hawks with even more challenges this year. In addition to two-time reigning division champions Shorewood and perennial threat Glacier Peak, this season the conference adds Edmonds-Woodway and Lynnwood, two teams that had winning records last year and earned postseason play in the 4A classification.
“Wesco South is very tough and our schedule is very difficult so we are hoping to get off to a good start,” Watters said.
The Hawks will jump into Wesco South division play quickly; following Tuesday’s opener against Kamiak and a road test at Snohomish on Wednesday, Mountlake Terrace begins league action on Friday, Mar. 20, at Meadowdale.
To view the entire 2015 MTHS baseball schedule, click https://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?league=3&page_name=game_schedule&school=40&sport=6.
– By Doug Petrowski