Baseball notes: Mountain View still together, still perfect

Stat leaders and tidbits on all Clark County high school baseball teams

Senior Power only means something if the seniors use their power together.

A team loaded with seniors is not necessarily going to succeed if those players just go through the motions, act like they are going to win just by showing up.

The Mountain View Thunder have the best of all combinations this baseball season.

The Mountain View Thunder huddle after another win last week. The Thunder have been in some close games, but their senior leadership has helped guide the team to a perfect record so far in 2019. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Mountain View Thunder huddle after another win last week. The Thunder have been in some close games, but their senior leadership has helped guide the team to a perfect record so far in 2019. Photo by Mike Schultz

A dozen seniors, guys who truly enjoy each other, and with a work ethic needed to play baseball until the final weekend of the season.

“We’re playing together, playing for each other,” senior Andrew Gulliford said. “Never giving up, trying to will ourselves to win.”

“We are a lot closer this year,” added senior Garrett Moen.

Their coach agrees. Aaron Coiteux said this group is more of a family than last year.

“When we got into the playoffs last year, a little adversity hit us, and we did not know how to handle it as well as we should have,” the coach said.

He is not concerned about that this season.

Mountain View pitcher Trevor Milton and catcher Riley McCarthy embrace after another Thunder victory. Photo by Mike Schultz
Mountain View pitcher Trevor Milton and catcher Riley McCarthy embrace after another Thunder victory. Photo by Mike Schultz

Mountain View is 14-0 overall, 10-0 in the Class 3A Greater St. Helens League and seemingly cruising to a league title.

In this report, we will have notes on all four leagues in Southwest Washington.

Starting with the Thunder.

“We have 12 seniors,” Coiteux said. “Kids have been in the system and understand it. When you have 12 seniors, it makes everything easier.”

Again, as long as those seniors become a family.

“We’ve all been playing for each other, and it’s been great,” Moen said.

The Thunder have a three-game league with five to play in the 3A GSHL. Earning the league title and top seed going to the bi-district tournament is expected. Still, no time to relax.

“Be the best team we can be,” Moen said. “We know our potential.”

Trevor Milton improved to 5-0 this season with a 0.86 ERA for the Mountain View Thunder. Photo by Mike Schultz
Trevor Milton improved to 5-0 this season with a 0.86 ERA for the Mountain View Thunder. Photo by Mike Schultz

Moen said the perfect record so far is a testament to the work ethic. The Thunder get to school early every day to get in extra hitting, for example.

However, the record does not mean much to Gulliford. Not right now, anyway. The Thunder always believed they would be the best team in the league. They want more, though.

A year ago, Mountain View went 1-2 in bi-district and missed out going to the state tournament.

This year’s team wants to become the first Mountain View baseball squad to win a state playoff game — then continue winning until the final weekend of the season.

Now, a look at all four leagues in Southwest Washington:

Class 4A GSHL

Most coaches say the Skyview Storm remains the team to beat in this league, but this league is competitive. Camas is 1-0 against the Storm this season. Union is 2-1 against Battle Ground. But Battle Ground has a 1-0 series lead over Camas.  Going to be a fun sprint to the finish, with the top three teams advancing to bi-district.

Skyview (12-2, 6-1 4A GSHL)

“The boys have continued the Skyview brand of baseball that we want to play, and it has been fun watching them improve throughout the season,” Skyview coach Seth Johnson said, adding that he is looking forward to this final stretch of the GSHL schedule.

“Playing meaningful, competitive games at the end of the season is what baseball is all about,” he said.

Ryan Pitts leads the teams with 19 RBIs and eight extra-base hits.

Oh, but he has plenty of friends who carry big bats, too.

Liam Kerr has driven in 12 and scored 12 to go with his seven extra-base hits. Cooper Barnum has seven extra-base hits and has scored a team-high 16 runs. Noah Guyette has driven in 14 runs.

Skyview’s Cooper Barnum has scored a team-high 16 runs and also is among the leaders in extra-base hits. Photo by Mike Schultz
Skyview’s Cooper Barnum has scored a team-high 16 runs and also is among the leaders in extra-base hits. Photo by Mike Schultz

Pitts is batting .455. Guyette is at .405. Then there’s Xander Morrison. In nine games played, he’s batting .500 with 10 runs scored.

Want more? Kyle Olsen and Titus Oien each have double-digit RBI totals.

The Skyview pitching is impressive, too. Lowell Dunmire is 3-0, giving up one earned run in 17 innings with 27 strikeouts. Pitts has given up one earned run in 16.1 IP with 28 strikeouts. Alex Miller has 34 Ks in 25.2 innings.

Camas (11-4, 6-2 GSHL)

The Papermakers have three players with double-doubles in runs and RBIs.

Tyler Forner has three home runs, has driven in 11 runs and has scored 26 runs in 15 games. Jake Blair has similar numbers, with three homers, 10 run, and 20 RBIs. Quinten Sawyer has 15 runs and 17 RBIs. And Jacob Trupp leads the way in RBIs with 23. All of them are batting .340 or better.

Luke Brewer is 3-0 on the mound for the Papermakers. Michael Quintana has a 2.0 ERA and Riley Sinclair has a 2.31 mark. Trupp has 27 strikeouts in 14.1 innings.

Union (10-5, 5-4)

Luke Staton leads a balanced attack on offense with 13 RBIs for the Titans. Travis Wiese has driven in 12 runs, Carter Sutton has 11 RBIs, and Mason Hill has 10 RBIs. Jordan Head leads the team with a .417 average.

Michael Whitney is 3-0, all in relief appearances. Wiese is 2-0 with a 2.80 ERA and Spencer McGuire is 2-1 with a 3.35 ERA.

Battle Ground (6-7, 3-4)

Tanner McDonald leads the team with a .387 average and has a team-high eight RBIs for the Tigers. Brett Joner is batting .372 and has scored 11 runs. Sean Pierce has also scored 11 runs.

Avery Fettig has a 1.65 ERA in 17 innings pitched. McDonald has 22 strikeouts in 16 IP.

In perhaps the biggest win of the season, the Tigers scored four runs in the seventh inning to beat Camas 6-3 two weeks ago.

Heritage (0-17, 0-9)

Eastyn Culp has scored a team-high nine runs and shares the team-high in RBIs with Braydon Youkon. Youkon also is the workhorse for the pitching staff, carrying a 2.81 ERA through 32 innings.  

Class 3A GSHL

As noted, Mountain View is running away with this thing in terms of the win-loss record. But to be fair to the rest of the league, there have been several close calls for the Thunder. Last week, Evergreen was in it the whole way in a 2-0 loss. The next day, Mountain View needed extra innings to beat Hudson’s Bay. Those other teams are almost there.

Mountain View (14-0, 10-0 GSHL)

Mountain View’s Isaiah Parker is one of several Thunder bats that can get the job done this season. Photo by Mike Schultz
Mountain View’s Isaiah Parker is one of several Thunder bats that can get the job done this season. Photo by Mike Schultz

With a perfect record comes some amazing individual numbers. Four Thunder players have driven in double-digits runs: Isaiah Parker (14), Andrew Selden (13), Quinn Rooks (13), and Riley McCarthy (11). Six have scored 10 or more runs: Moen (17), Parker (15), Gulliford (12), Selden (11), Mitchell Allison (11), and McCarthy (11). Parker is batting .436.

Looks like the Thunder have a couple of aces, too.

Trevor Milton is 5-0 with a 0.86 ERA. Selden is 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA and 42 strikeouts. Both have pitched more than 30 innings apiece. Rooks, meanwhile, has three wins and two saves and has not given up an earned run this season, working mostly out of the bullpen.

Evergreen (8-4, 6-4 GSHL)

“We’re right in the mix,” Evergreen coach Chad Burchett said. “The goal at the beginning of the season was to be in the top three. Our goal is still attainable. Try to get in the playoffs, get a chance to dance.”

The strength of this team is pitching a defense. Evergreen’s staff has a 2.25 ERA.

Conner Bice is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Carter Monda has not given up an earned run in 16 innings. He also has 27 strikeouts.

Monda also has the team’s only two home runs this season. He is hitting .386 and has driven in 12 and scored 12 runs. Andrew Jennerjohn also has driven in 12 for the Plainsmen, including a 4-RBI game in a big win over Kelso on Friday. Tyler Livingston is hitting .350 with 12 runs and 11 RBIs.

Hudson’s Bay (7-8, 4-6)

As noted earlier, the Eagles came so close to handing Mountain View its first loss of the season.

Alan Merrill is one of several Eagles with big numbers on offense. He is hitting .455 with 15 RBIs and 16 runs to go with eight extra-base hits. Jaxon Mills (14 RBIs/12 runs), Carter Morse (13 RBIs/15 runs), and Trent Palen (11 RBIs/10 runs) are all hitting better than .330.

Merrill is the workhorse for the pitching staff. He has 32 strikeouts in 31.1 innings to go with a 3.35 ERA.

Prairie (4-9, 4-6)

The Falcons know they need to get it going in the final games of the regular season to try to catch third place. They have a bit of momentum, too.

They beat Kelso, the team tied for second place, on Wednesday. Plus the Falcons topped Fort on Thursday.

In the Kelso game, Ty Hebert drove in three runs. Connor Smith had two hits. Ethan McClintock pitched a complete game.

Against Fort Vancouver, Reese Walling drove in three runs. McClintock, Smith, and Colin Schiller each drove in two runs.

A couple weeks back, the Falcons got a big inning to beat Hudson’s Bay. Caleb Jones had a two-run hit. Zack Brown got the win and Zachary Berberian had two innings of scoreless relief to preserve the victory.

Fort Vancouver (0-11, 0-10)

The Trappers are struggling with the record but still have some strong individual performances.

Tyler Runkle is batting .400 and has scored 12 runs to go with six RBIs. Nick Laurenza is at .395, also with 12 runs and six RBIs. He leads the team in extra-base hits. Justin Vernon leads the squad with 13 RBIs. Ezekiel Block has 10 RBIs.

Class 2A GSHL

Earlier this month, had a feature story on the dominance of the 2A GSHL is team sports over the last year. The league has won five different team state titles. Baseball, though, was not one of the successful stories last season, in terms of state playoffs. Well, this year, one coach in Southwest Washington said he believes Ridgefield has the talent to make a long playoff run this season.

Of course, the Spudders would have to survive a tough district tournament. Oh, and they might not even be the top seed going into that tournament. Still plenty of ball to play, but it is Columbia River alone in first place right now.

Columbia River (11-3, 6-1 GSHL)

The Chieftains just missed beating Ridgefield last week. Instead, the Spudders rallied late for the victory.

“We rebounded with two good wins over Woodland and R.A. Long,” River coach Stephen Donohue said.

Indeed, rebounded enough to get back into first place after Ridgefield lost to R.A. Long.

Xavier Ulrich is hitting the cover off the ball. He is batting .395 and more than half of his hits have gone for extra bases, including three home runs. He has 20 RBIs. Nick Alder and Parker McNeil each have scored 17 runs. Alder also has driven in 14 runs.

Pitching-wise, Alder has given up one earned run in 27 innings. Yes, one earned run. He has 30 strikeouts to go with his 4-1 record. Sam Boyle and Derek Mettler are a combined 5-0.

Ridgefield (10-5, 5-2)

“At this point in the season, every win is precious,” Ridgefield coach Nick Allen said. “There are some good young arms in our league this year that command the strike zone, so you have to come in ready to battle.”

Kellen Bringhurst has three home runs and 17 RBIs. Brock Harrison also has three homers to go with 16 RBIs. Spencer Andersen (11) and Josh Mansur (10) also have driven in double digits. Andersen, by the way, will see his numbers rise once a suspended game is completed. He has a grand slam that is not in the books just yet.

The Spudders have a 1.09 ERA as a team.

Mansur has 34 strikeouts in 21.2 innings to go with a 0.32 ERA. Bringhurst also has 34 Ks and is 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA. Oh, and Andersen? He has not given up an earned run in 23.1 innings.

Washougal (6-5, 2-3)

The Panthers have 20 runs in their two league wins, but a total of one run in their three league losses.

When it’s going good, though, it’s good.

In a recent win over Mark Morris, Alex Orr had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in four runs. Brevan Bea also had three hits, two doubles, and he knocked in two runs. Kaden Halverson added two hits and two RBIs.

In a win over Hockinson, it was Preston Thornton with three RBIs. Orr connected on two more doubles. Zach Collins struck out eight to get the pitching win.

Woodland (6-8, 2-4)

The Beavers showed they can put some runs up against some of the top teams in the league, but pitching and defense has been a struggle in those losses.

Still, with two league wins, there remains hope for a late-season push.

In a win over Washougal, Ryan Cooney struck out six in a three-hit shutout. Christian Yager had two hits, including a double, and scored two runs.

In a win over Mark Morris, Cooney drove in two runs and Mickey Woodward went five innings to get the win on the mound.

Hockinson (3-6, 2-4)

Sawyer Racanelli, known more for his football talent, is leading the Hawks in runs and he is 16 for 32 at the plate this season. Caeden Chambers and Levi Crum each have six RBIs for the Hawks.

Cody Wheeler is 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA with 14 strikeouts.

Trico League (Class 1A)

Columbia-White Salmon has a three-game lead in the loss column at 6-0. La Center has played three more games than White Salmon, but has three league losses.

La Center (7-5, 6-3 Trico)

Tom Lambert and Michael Goode are having fine springs for the Wildcats. Lambert is batting .435 with eight RBIs and six runs scored. Goode is at .429, also with eight RBIs and has scored seven runs.

Lambert is getting it done on the mound, too. He has given up one earned run in 14.2 innings. Irving Alvarez has 24 strikeouts in 16 innings and has a 1.75 ERA.

King’s Way Christian (3-10, 1-5)

Ty Mairs is one of several bright spots for the Knights. Mairs is batting .439 and leads the team in extra-base hits.

Bryce Dodge has scored a team-high 15 runs and is hitting .359.

The RBI leaders are Isaiah McLeod and Tayler Shega, each with seven.

Dodge has two pitchings wins and has a team-high 24 strikeouts in 24 innings.

About The Author

Paul Valencia joins after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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