Sequim Baseball catcher Tyler Campbell helped the squad shut down opposing teams on the basepaths. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
Reports declaring baseball’s art of stealing obsolete or dead are most assuredly premature.
Thanks to deft running skills, Sequim Baseball, a summer league team for high school-aged players, capped a strong 2010 campaign with 11 wins in their final 15 games and a 17-12 final mark.
Running like mad on the basepaths, manager Dan Perry says, was the key.
“We started running on people and they couldn’t stop us,” he says. “We’d hit-and-run with guys on first and second — teams just started to fall apart on us.”
Sequim’s club played in a dozen tournaments or doubleheader exhibitions, from Gig Harbor to Seattle, Tacoma and Ellensburg.
Sequim Baseball’s squad looks on as the team takes on a summer league team from Kitsap County in June. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
Perry, who’s coached in Sequim for 23 years, started the summer league team in 1998 to develop local players so the high school team remains strong.
From what he saw of the 2010 summer league team, the Wolves will have plenty to work with in the spring of 2011.
“(I saw ) big progress, big steps,” he says. “Sequim’s going to have a great varsity team next year. They’re going to have some good leadership.”
Leading the way on the summer league team were several veterans, in particular Preston McFarlen and Drew Rickerson. Twins Matt and Mike Bereiter worked several complete-game shutouts while Tyler Campbell played a solid catcher and pitched well, Perry says.
But the squad also saw the development of several younger players, the manager points out. Weston Royall was dominant defensively in center field while infielders Nick Ramirez and Karsten Wake made big strides during the season.
“The kids are fun and they listen and learn,” Perry says.
The unsung hero of the squad, Perry says, is Tyler Washburn, a diminutive sophomore-to-be who provided ample help on the mound, once tossed 10 innings in two days.
And while the team’s strength on offense showed on the basepaths, Sequim Baseball flexed plenty of defensive muscle keeping opposing teams from running thanks to catchers McFarlen and Campbell.
Perry recalls playing a Gig Harbor summer squad this season. In back-to-back meetings, Sequim catchers threw out Gig Harbor’s leadoff hitter trying to steal in the first inning — and never saw them try to steal again.
“Both these guys did excellent jobs for us,” Perry says. “Nobody ran on us.”
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.