Selah Baseball Has Eyes Set on State Title in 2018
After winning a state championship in 2016, Selah's 2017 campaign ended in shockingly abrupt fashion.
A first round playoffs exit to Ellensburg left a sour taste in a program that's used to making deep playoff runs.
"I thought we were the two best teams in the state," said Selah Head Coach Mike Archer, "Ellensburg played a great game and got us; that was a tough end to the season."
There's plenty of reason for optimism in 2018 however, and it starts with their two starting pitchers Reid Rasmussen and Payton Andreas.
Reid Rasmussen is the unquestioned ace of Selah. A tall lefty that spun a 1.85 ERA across 57 innings as a sophomore, en route to first-team all league honors.
After being kept out all his sophomore year with an ankle injury, Payton Andreas enters his junior year entrenched as the #2 starter in Selah's rotation behind Rasmussen.
Coming out of the bullpen will be flame-throwing Vanderbilt commit Carter Young.
Young is projected to play everyday at shortstop, but his electric stuff will be heavily utilized in his new-found closer role.
Projected to join Young in the middle infield will be first year starting second baseman Brandon Bruner.
"Bruner gets the job done at the plate and in the field, he's a guy we're going to count on," said Carter Young on his double-play partner.
Manning third base will be senior Carson Vick. While not the biggest guy on the field (5-10 160lb), Vick prides himself on doing the dirty work, including chesting up hot ground balls. He hit .325 across 40 at-bats in 2017.
There is an open competition at first base with Nick Garretson and Dane Hall. Neither player logged an at-bat in 2017, and there is projected to be split playing time early.
Handling responsibilities behind the dish will be senior captain Devin Garner. Garner is entering his third year on Selah's varsity roster, he hit .370 with 11 RBI in 2017.
"I pride myself on being a hitting catcher, but what's big for me right now is communication, just getting guys in the right spots," said Devin Garner on his team role.
Making up the outfield is first year starters Colton Hart and Sam Skeen in the corner spots, While the returning Payton Andreas will patrol center field.
"Hart and Skeen pride themselves on playing error-free, and having Payton Andreas back (from injury) is huge for the amount of ground he can cover," said Carson Vick.
So what can we expect out of Selah in 2018? most likely the same domination we've seen for the last decade.
When asked if he felt this was a state-championship caliber team, Coach Archer had optimistic words.
"You've got to be good, and you've got to be lucky. The big thing for us is we're going to have to pitch and play defense, because our offense is still developing. I think if we play hard, we'll have a shot in the end."