Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Weekly La Conner High Sports capsule, June 1, 2011

Baseball, Track place in State!

Photo by Ed Baker
The La Conner Braves Baseball Team placed third in State on Saturday. Shown here with the trophy are Garrett Wilbur, DJ Carr and Kyle McKnight.

 Photo by Eric Anderson
The Braves Boys' Track Team took fourth in State, marking the first time the team has placed in the state tournament since the 1980s.

Braves Baseball ranked third in State
By M. Sharon Baker
The La Conner Braves took 3rd place at the Class 2B Baseball State Tournament in Yakima on Saturday, staging a last-inning rally to beat DeSales 5-4.
The Braves had enjoyed a 2-0 lead over DeSales during the first four innings, and pitcher Garret Wilbur had only given up two hits going into the fifth.
But a couple of walks and hit batters coupled with two Braves’ errors in both the fifth and sixths innings left the team staring at 4-2 loss going into the seventh and last inning.
Coach Jeremiah LeSourd said that during every inning he was prepared to pull Garrett, who had complained of a sore arm the night before. “He didn’t like the idea but we were ready if we needed to,” LeSourd said.
“My arm was hurting and I iced it three times the night before the game, but it felt pretty good” to be able to start the game, Wilbur said. “I allowed only two hits but then in the fifth, I hit a guy and walked a few. But I didn’t lose my composure.”
Wilbur had enough left to pitch a scoreless seventh inning, leaving his teammates a chance to catch DeSales.
Senior shortstop Kyle McKnight led the team off in the bottom of the seventh, landing at first after he was hit by DeSales reliever Kyle Lindgren.
After stealing second and third, McKnight scored after D.J Carr hit a single down the third base line and into the outfield. Carr scored and tied the game after a DeSalle fielder failed to catch a ball Tyler Howlett hit into the outfield.
Howlett advanced to second when Dakota Hartley hit a single to left field, leaving junior outfielder Matt McCauley to bring them home. McCauley was already 3-3 with a double and two singles, and was the perfect player to have at bat.
 “It was just the way I planned it,” LeSourd jokingly said after the game. 
McCauley jumped on the second pitch and sent it sailing over the second baseman, giving Howlett enough time to race home from second. “We couldn’t have scripted it any better,” LeSourd said.
“I was scared going into the seventh,” admitted Wilbur, “But Kyle and DJ started us off well, and then our 4, 5, 6 hitters did an awesome job of putting the ball in play.”
“Our goal was to get here and we finished with a win,” said LeSourd, adding he would miss Wilbur, McKnight and Carr, his three seniors who won’t be there in the next season.
McKnight is off to the University of Washington where he said he’ll try to walk on the soccer and baseball teams while Carr will attend Pacific Lutheran University where he will try out for the soccer team. Wilbur is headed to Spokane Falls Community College where he will be a fielder for baseball coach Bobby Lee.
“This group was freshmen when I started four years ago,” LeSourd said. “They were with me from the beginning and I’m going to miss them.”

 Photo by Ed Baker
Braves' Garrett Wilbur in action. He was voted most valuable baseball player in the league.
 Braves Raves
By Amylynn Richards
Today is the final day of school for the Class of 2011. The class leaves for Disneyland for their senior trip tomorrow, but will be back in time for the Senior Picnic, which will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, at Pioneer Park.  Graduation will be on Thursday, June 9.
Samie Miller and Garrett Wilbur were named the 2011 2B Northwest League All-League Most Valuable Fastpitch and Baseball Players. Garrett Wilbur’s team-spirit, pitching and hitting skills helped take the team far. Samie Miller had a career batting average of .500 hitting 27 home runs, and struck out 543 opponents in the 78 games she pitched.
Jeremiah LeSourd has been selected by his peers as the 2011 2B Northwest League Baseball Coach of the Year.  He coached his team to a third place win at State, the first time the team had gone to State since LeSourd was a  senior at La Conner High.
First baseman Galena Graham was selected to the 2B Northwest League All-League Fastpitch First Team. Selected for the 2B Northwest League All-League Baseball First Team were Kyle McKnight, infielder and Dakota Hartley as outfielder.  Selected for Second Team are: Tyler Howlett; DJ Carr; Wil James; Tanner Cyr; Lauren McClung and Alyssa McCoy.
Honorable mention goes to Matt McCauley, Christian Johnston, and Taysha James.
Brendan McLeod is the seventh best golfer in the 2B State division. “He really stayed focused and was really consistent hitting sixteen of eighteen fairways on the last day,” says Coach Sean Skiles, “He only had one bad hole on the back nine early on, but he didn't let it bother him and shook it off.”  McLeod finished up with a score of 80, seven strokes better than his first round score.  Coach Skiles reports “Spencer Novak and Spencer Finley also fought hard but did not make the cut for the final round.”
Coach Skiles invites every golfer in the area to meet up for a four-man scramble fundraiser for the La Conner Kiwanis and the high school golf team at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 4.
The La Conner Track team racked up the points at State and won fourth overall at the 2B State competition over the weekend.
Finalists: Jamall James is second in the State for the high jump, fourth in the triple jump and seventh in the long jump; Landy James is third in the high jump and sixth in javelin throw; Sten Mejlaender is fourth in 300 meter hurdles, fifth for 100 meter hurdles; Brandon Drye is fifth in discus and eleventh for shot put; Sammie Mesman, fifteenth in the 1600 meter race; and Sam Traylor, sixteenth in state in the 3200 meter race.
The Braves fastpitch team consistently won the umpire’s Sportsmanship medal at each game the girls played at State.  The award is bestowed immediately following each game and the athlete’s name is posted next to the tournament bracket.  Awards were given to: Samie Miller, Kettle Falls game; Galena Graham, Brewster game; Lauren McClung, Northwest Christian game; and Alissa McCoy, Colfax game.
The Braves fought hard, but finished in the top eight in the State last weekend in Yakima after getting knocked out after the fourth game at state finals.
 “All in all, it was a great season with a few ups and downs,” says Coach Peg Seeling, “the girls worked hard and truly earned their state berth!  We will truly miss our six seniors Sierra Brown, Galena Graham, Lauren McClung, Alissa McCoy, Samie Miller, and Kaitlyn Summers. I'm sure our returning players will work hard to live up to the La Conner Fastpitch tradition of hard work and excellence left by the seniors!”
Senior statistics:  The seniors had an opportunity to play 101 games during their four years on the team. Galena Graham has played in 88 of those games. Graham put out 174 runners this season alone, and had a career total of 411 put outs, with a fielding of .939. Lauren McClung had exactly 100 hits in her career with 16 doubles, 10 triples, and 8 home runs. Sierra Brown increased her production on the field and at bat each of her four years, with 54 hits, 7 doubles, and 3 triples in her senior year.  Alissa McCoy was the Braves lead-off hitter for much of her career and had 79 walks and 59 stolen bases in her 4 years. Kaitlyn Summers had a great "slugging" year this year with 10 doubles, a triple and 2 HR leading to 50 RBI.
The girls played four games total at State, winning two and losing two. Samie Miller pitched all four games, and Lauren McClung caught all four. Miller struck out 17 in the 4 games and McClung threw out 6 base runners in the tournament.
Kettle Falls won the first game 13-10. Coach Seeling reports that the Braves had fifteen hits in the game, and were down by 10 runs at one point, but battled back to make the game a close one. Team highlights: Galena Graham was 2 for 3 with a double; Kelley McClung was 2 for 4 with a double; Lauren McClung was 3 for 5 with a triple and3 RBI, and threw out 2 base runners trying to steal; Samie Miller was 3 for 5 with 3 doubles and 1 RBI; and Kaitlyn Summers was 2 for 3 with a double and 2 RBI.
The Braves won game two against Brewster 16-15. “We had15 hits in this game as well; we came back from a 13-1 deficit to win this game,” reports Seeling, “It was truly an amazing game with freshman Maddy McCoy coming in with 2 outs in the seventh inning to hit in the winning run!” Galena Graham was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and 8 put-outs; Samie Miller was 2 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI; Siomi Bobb was 1 for 3 with 2 RBI; Kelley McClung was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI; Lauren McClung threw out 3 runners trying to steal bases; Maddy McCoy was 1 for 1 with the game winning RBI with 2 outs in the seventh inning.
The Braves won game three 7-4, with 12 hits. Team highlights: Sierra Brown was 2 for 3; Lauren McClung was 2 for 4 with 4 RBI; Alissa McCoy was 2 for 3 with a double and 1 RBI;  Samie Miller was 2 for 4.
Colfax won the final game the Braves played in 11-1, in five innings. “We struggled in this game with only 3 hits,” Seeling said. Lauren McClung was 1 for 2 with a double and the only RBI; Kelley McClung was 1 for 1 and scored the only run. Samie Miller was 1 for 2. Colfax was knocked out in the next round to Mossyrock.
The Braves competed against Warden high on Friday, May 27 in Yakima.  Warden won the game 9-4, and went on to earn second place at State. Seattle Lutheran became the State champion for the second year. The Braves had hoped to take on Seattle Lutheran themselves; because the Braves recently beat Seattle Lutheran 3-1 on May 14 at the District Championship in Stanwood. 
In the semifinal game on May 27, Coach Jeremiah LeSourd said that the Braves got off to a quick start, scoring two runs with two outs in the top of the first. Garrett Wilbur and Tyler Howlett singled and Dakota Hartley tripled to score two points. In the second inning, the Braves defense “made multiple errors in critical situations” that led to Warden scoring 5 runs. Warden added another unearned run in the third inning to make the score 6 to 2. The Braves scored a run in the fourth inning when DJ Carr doubled and Garrett Wilbur followed with a double to score Carr. In the top of the fifth, the Braves scored another run making the score 4 to 6. In the bottom of the fifth, Warden scored three runs, which “put the game out of reach,” LeSourd said, “sophomore pitcher Tyler Howlett battled hard to keep the game close, but the seven Brave errors were too much to overcome.” Leading hitters: Garrett Wilbur, 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI; Dakota Hartley, 2 for 4 with a triple and 2 RBI; and Wil James, 2 for 4. 
  The final game on Saturday, May 28 was to determine third and fourth place in State. The Braves beat DeSales  5-4. The Braves rebounded in this game and took the lead in the first inning when Tyler Howlett singled to score Garrett Wilbur. The Braves scored again in the third inning when Garrett Wilbur tripled home Kyle McKnight who had led off with a double. DeSales was able to score two runs in the fifth to tie the game, and scored two more runs in the sixth to take the lead 4 to 2. The Braves trailed by two points in the bottom of the seventh inning. Kyle McKnight led off by getting hit by a pitch and walking to first base. DJ Carr scored McKnight with an RBI single. Tyler Howlett reached base on a single. Dakota Hartley singled up the middle to score Carr. Matt McCauley then won the game for the Braves with a single up the middle, scoring Tyler Howlett from second base. Garrett Wilbur struck out six batters and gave up six hits. Leading hitters: Matt McCauley was 4 for 4 with a double and the game winning RBI; Kyle McKnight was 2 for 3 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored. “Garrett Wilbur pitched well throughout the game and the defense performed much better,” LeSourd said.
 The Braves finished the 2011 season Third Place in the State, with 17 wins and 7 losses. "I am proud of our seniors and how they have raised the level of expectations for our baseball program. We went through a lot together over the past four years and they finished their careers in exciting fashion. The underclassmen got invaluable experience this season and will be better served in the future because of it." 

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