Summer Check-In, Part III
Several more Husky baseball players have sent in updates from their summer ball teams. Today, we hear again from Humboldt Crabs ace Aaron West, as well as for the first time from players like Will Sparks, Zach Wright and incoming JC transfer pitcher Jacob Coats.
Here's what they have to say.
ZACH WRIGHT, Lacrosse Loggers
So far my experience here in Lacrosse, Wisc., in the Northwoods League has been pretty good. The town is small, and I haven't had much time to explore Lacrosse because we play nearly every day, but the people who live here are nice. Our team is finally complete with the last couple guys coming in after finishing up at the College World Series. And since them we have been playing pretty well winning seven of our last nine games I believe. Our head coach Andy McKay from Sacramento City College talks a lot on the mental aspect of baseball and that has been the focus it seems since I have been here.
Since I have been here I have had two starts, getting the no decision in the first, coming out in the fifth with the score tied 1-1, and getting the win the second coming out after the sixth. Pitching in the Northwoods so far has been a great experience, the stands are always packed, and we regularly have a couple thousand people in attendance.
A typical day as a Logger pitcher consists of showing up at the ballpark between 1:00 and 2:00 depending on the game time which is usually between 6:00 and 7:00. Once we are there coach McKay talks to us for a bit, then we get stretched out and pitchers go and throw. We have about forty-five minutes to throw, stretches, do band work, and throw short-boxes before the hitters start batting practice and we have to go shag. After shagging, we sometimes have time for PFP's, but usually have fifteen minutes to rest then go and start our conditioning that we do every day. Once were done with that we have about an hour to hang around, get ready, and get the field prepared for the game.
All in all I feel I have gotten a great deal better and am ready to come back to the UW and help the Dawgs fight for a Pac-12 title! Can't wait for fall ball. Thanks for checking in. I'll update you more very soon!
AARON WEST, Humboldt Crabs
The week of the 4th of July was filled with some great baseball by the Crabs and our opponents. On the 4th we beat the Gnats while throwing a combined no-hitter for nine innings. In the first Far West League game against the Atwater Aviators and former Husky Julien Pollard, the bats exploded, scoring six runs in the first inning.
The second game was a different story because the Aviator pitcher had a no-hitter going into the ninth inning. Brett Morgan of UC Davis hit a single up the middle to end the no-hitter. In the third game our bats exploded again and we put the nail in the coffin with a seven-run fifth inning. Before playing us the Aviators were 6-0 in league and were in first place. Up next is a three-game Far West League series against the California Glory.
Thanks for checking back in. More to come soon ...
WILL SPARKS, Neptune Beach Pearl
Summer ball has been going on for about a month now and things are going great. I'm playing for the Neptune Beach Pearl, located in Alameda, Calif. Alameda is relatively small city located right outside of Oakland and about an hour away from my hometown of Saratoga. Because of the proximity to my house, I've been living at home and commuting to and from the park everyday instead of living with a host family. It's kind of a pain driving that much but my bed is really comfortable and my mom is a really good cook so it's worth it!
Even though I've grown up close to Alameda, I've never spent much time there until now. It's a great community and the people been really supportive of our team. For the 4th of July, Alameda hosts an annual parade that attracts around 50,000 people. Our team took part in the event and it was pretty exciting. We had a good amount of fans that seemed pretty pumped up to see us. Despite our best efforts, we didn't take home the "Best Float" award. Maybe next time.
As far as our team goes, we've got a good group of guys from all around the country and I've been having a lot of fun. Right now our record is 15-13 and we're right in the hunt to make the playoffs.
Our most interesting trip so far was easily our weekend in Arcata. After a six-hour drive, we got ready for a three-game series against the Humboldt Crabs (fellow Husky teammate Aaron West's team). The Crabs housed a little over 1,000 fans per game making it the most hostile environment we've encountered so far. We ended up getting swept and the fans were relentless the entire time. There was a lady who went up to the fence and screamed at our on deck hitters, a man who threw newspapers in our dugout, and another man in right field who constantly yelled at me for wearing my socks too high.
On Saturday, our starting pitcher was so rattled he walked the first four hitters and was pulled without even getting an out. With all of this said, I can't wait to go back up there for the playoffs and get another chance. I need some redemption. Thanks for stopping by Husky fans, I'll update you more very soon ...
CHASE ANSELMENT, Brewster Whitecaps
Hey Chase Anselment here. I'm out in Brewster, Mass., for my third week playing for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League. In the past week I feel like I have really progressed as a player defensively and offensively as a result of playing against the great competition found here in the Cape. The weather here has been amazing and we have been playing almost every day. It is a great challenge to play baseball every day. Probably very similar to what one would face as a minor league player.
Along with playing baseball I have been working in the mornings 8-12 Monday through Friday as a maintenance worker at a special needs school with a fellow teammate. The job has been pretty tough but gives me an opportunity to make some money and help out the community as well. I have some great teammates, one of them being fellow Husky Austin Voth, who is pitching very well for us over the last few weeks. Overall I'm enjoying my time out here in Cape Cod and would recommend this as a vacation spot. I am anxious to get back to Seattle to start fall with my team, but for the time being I am having a blast. I'll update you guys more very soon. Go Dawgs!
JACOB COATS, Bellingham Bells
Baseball has been going great in Bellingham. I've been up here playing in the West Coast League for the Bells. I'm still building up to my first start from my elbow surgery but I feel I've been making progress with the pitching coach here and I'm excited for that to transfer over to UW [note: Jacob is an incoming transfer from Everett CC.].
I've made three appearances here pitching only an inning each to build up my arm strength. My pitch count has stayed low and I'm due to get a couple more innings of work here soon. The team here is great and the pitching staff is phenomenal. We have a ton of a good arms including Husky pitcher Nick Palewicz, who is dominating as a closer. I can't wait to be with the Huskies and help contribute to the program. I will check back in again very soon. Go Dawgs!
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