BB/SB Tab: Beavers Young but Optimistic in 2017
The Beavers don’t have the most dominant pitcher in the league on the bump this year, but fourth-year head coach Conner Hogue is happy with his squad.
Kaleb Strawn, last year’s Evergreen 1A League MVP, is off pitching for Columbia Basin Community College, and Tenino’s looking to a few returning starters and a few new faces to eat innings.
“We’ve put a lot more kids in through the pitching staff,” Hogue said. “We’ve allowed the kids to improve a little bit, so basically it’s just a by-committee approach. We think we have really good kids that are capable of filling those shoes.”
Capable and, according to Hogue, coachable.
“We have some guys who are going to be new, but we’ve got good seniors, and we’ve got a team that’s willing to do anything that’s best for the team,” he said. “It’s been a fun group so far.”
Heading up the pitching rotation will be left-hander (and first baseman) Dylan Stakelin, shortstop Robbie Wall and sophomore Alex Bratton. Bratton and Stakelin both pitched primarily in relief last year.
Throw in Spencer Brewer, junior catcher — and quarterback in the fall — Miles Cannon, and infielder Riley Wright, and the Beavers have plenty of options on the bump.
Wall, Brewer and outfielder Coulson Chambers provide both senior leadership and pop in the batting order.
“There’s some experience there with our senior class,” Hogue said. “I think we have enough of our young guys who are ready to fill some roles. We have multiple kids practicing multiple positions, and they’re prepared to do what’s best for the team.”
Hogue and Hoquiam skipper Steve Jump are the only head coaches in the league returning from last year. Todd Baun takes over as head coach in Elma, Jason Richard is the new dugout boss in Forks and Mike Osgood takes the reigns in Montesano.
Hoquiam is the favorite in what’s now a five-team league, but the Grizzlies — who won the State 1A title in 2015 and finished second last year — will be without ace pitcher Skyler Jump and speedy Payton Quintanilla, both of whom are out for the season while recovering from surgery. With infielder Jerod Steen and catcher Zach Spradlin among the returning starters, though, the Grizzlies are still expected to be solid.
Montesano brings back senior hurlers Nick Chapman and Austin Peterson, while Baun is Elma’s third coach in as many years.
Coach: Conner Hogue (fourth)
2016: 12-12 (lost in regionals)
Returning Starters: Dylan Stakelin (Sr., P/1B), Spencer Brewer (Sr., C), Robbie Wall (Sr., SS/P), Miles Cannon (Jr., C/3B), Coulson Chambers (Sr., OF), Jace Griffis (So., OF)
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