South Highline National Juniors exit state tourney on loss to Bonney Lake/Sumner
ARLINGTON--So close and yet so far turned out to be the story of the South Highline National Junior baseball team at state this past week.
The Nationals were edged out of the tournament played at Evans Field in Arlington with a 5-2 loss to Bonney Lake/Sumner Tuesday, July 19, after posting a 1-1 record up until that point.
Had South Highline won that game, it would have advanced into a consolation bracket semifinal with high hopes left for reaching the championship.
As it was National did have an extended stay and did not have to leave only two games into the tournament.
South Highline National scored a narrow 10-9 win over South Kitsap in its tournament opener played Saturday, July 16, and then took a loss that was not close -- falling to Columbia by a 10-5 score.
That dropped the team into its consolation game against Bonney Lake/Sumner played Tuesday, July 19 after a one day break from playing.
Manager Grady Weckhorst has been proud of his all-star squad, including after winning the District 7 championship game played Saturday, July 9 against Rainier District. It was the second time in as many days that the team had to beat that team and make state.
"We lost early in the tournament and came back," said Weckhorst.
Assisting Weckhorst as coaches were Warren Cook -- and Weckhorst's son Justin.
"He's young and still brings that player mentality," said Grady Weckhorst, who also won a Juniors championship when Justin was on the team.
The team's players who are playing now include Alex Metros, Anthony DeMarre, Caleb Swift, Canon Westland, Christian Pham, Evan Galando, Gunnar Thompson, Justin Helmbreck, Kyle Muller, Kyle Rivera, Peter-Paul Swaab and Ryan McLaughlin.
The South Highline National president is Cammie Pekonen.
Three other teams participated in state tournaments under the South Highline National banner, but only had two game stays.
The 9-10 baseball team travelled to Hartman Park in Redmond and took an 8-1 loss to Northshore and a 13-0 defeat at the hands of Pacific.
South Highline National teamed with South Highline American and PacWest for age 9-10 girls fastpitch action at Snider Field in Poulsbo and lost, 24-0, to Snohomish and 15-0 to eventual champion Gig Harbor American/National.
In the Major Little League fastpitch tournament, South Highline National/South Highline American fell to Auburn/Kent by a 17-1 score to open and lost, 9-4, to West Plains in its second and final game.
Tim Fenster managed the 9-10 baseball team along with coaches Rich Morine and Chad Allred.
Players for Fenster's team are Christopher Mills, Jace Pigg, Jack Fenster, Joel Willott, Joeseph Allred, Paolo Colello, Ryan Bigelow, Teddy Covich, Trevor Morine, Tyler Kilstrom and Zane Thornton.