HS baseball: Notes and top players from Clark County teams

Skyview, King’s Way Christian, Mountain View among top teams as season heads into stretch run

Students are back to class after spring break, and that means the athletes are back in action.

Baseball teams in Clark County got started in league play just before the break and are now ready for the stretch run.

Skyview, which made it to the state’s final four last year, is the hot team again in Class 4A.

Daniel Copeland is one of Skyview’s top pitchers and top hitters. The Storm, a state final four team a year ago, are off to a fast start this season, too. Photo courtesy of John Kerr
Daniel Copeland is one of Skyview’s top pitchers and top hitters. The Storm, a state final four team a year ago, are off to a fast start this season, too. Photo courtesy of John Kerr

King’s Way Christian, the defending state champions in Class 1A, look to have another promising start, too.

Here are some notes on all teams from Clark County, along with some top hitters and pitchers from around the region:


Class 4A Greater St. Helens League

Skyview Storm (8-1, 4-0 GSHL)

“Our team is very resilient. We are comfortable in playing a variety of styles of baseball, whether it be a close 2-1 pitchers’ duel or an 8-7 slugfest,” Skyview coach Seth Johnson said.

“This is a great team to coach. They have the ability to stay loose and have fun all while maintaining the proper focus to be successful.”

Top Hitters:

Daniel Copeland: 1.390 OPS with 7 doubles and 10 runs

Liam Kerr: 4 doubles; 1 home run

Michael Lundgren: 4 doubles, 10 RBI

Skyview’s Michael Lundgren has driven in 10 runs in the first nine games of the season. Photo courtesy of John Kerr
Skyview’s Michael Lundgren has driven in 10 runs in the first nine games of the season. Photo courtesy of John Kerr

Top Pitchers:

Daniel Copeland: 3 wins, 1.54 ERA, 31 strikeouts

Cooper Barnum: 2 wins, 16 strikeouts, opponents hitting .143

Alex Miller: 2 wins, 16 strikeouts, 0.66 ERA

Camas Papermakers (8-3, 3-1 GSHL)

“We have a lot of first-year varsity players in the lineup and our learning curve has been pretty steep, but we are continuing to improve as guys are gaining experience,” Camas coach Stephen Short said. “It’s clear that pitching and defense will be the key to our success this season.”

Top Hitters:

Luke Bruno: .414 BAwith 14 RBI

Taylor Adam: .406 BAwith 14 runs

Trevor Bentley: .389 BA with 8 RBI, 10 runs   

Top Pitchers:

Ryan Potter: 2-0 with 1.47 ERA, 13 strikeouts in 14.1 IP

Luke Bruno: 2-0 with 1.91 ERA, 15 strikeouts in 11 IP

Sam Malychewski: 1-0, 2 saves, with 0.91 ERA

Union Titans (2-8, 1-3 GSHL)

“A tough non-league schedule has prepared us to make a run in the competitive 4A league,” Union coach Ben McGrew said.

Top Hitters:

Jaxon Woodhouse: .379 BA, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBI

Carter Sutton: .370 BA, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 9 runs  

Top Pitchers:

Wyatt Rogina: 1-0, 1 save, 0.84 ERA

Spencer McGuire: 1 save, 10.1 IP

Heritage Timberwolves (4-7, 0-3 GSHL)

Top hitters:

Xavier Ulrich: .433 BA, 2 triples, 2 doubles, 6 RBI

Brandon Hardesty: .384 BA with 3 RBI

Donald Gange: .333 BAwith 5 RBI

Top Pitchers:

Alex Becklehimer: 10 strikeouts in 11 IP with 3.18 ERA

Chase Hendy: 2.42 ERA

Battle Ground Tigers (2-6, 1-2 GSHL)

The Tigers struggled in the early going but did get a win over non-league rival Prairie.

And on Monday, Battle Ground got a walk-off win for its first league win. Tanner McDonald got the game-winning hit.

No report for top players..


3A Greater St. Helens League

Mountain View Thunder (7-2, 5-0 GSHL)

“First and foremost, we have a team of workers,” Mountain View coach Aaron Coiteaux said. “During spring break we had about seven to eight kids who didn’t take a day off. They organized their own practices during the four days I gave them off.

“Secondly, we have talent but aren’t where we want to be. We have many things to work on and hopefully by year’s end we will have accomplished those things and can look back at the year and say it was a successful one.”

Top Hitters:

Jasper Rank: .636 BA, 7 RBI

Isaiah Parker: .444 BA, 5 RBI

Andrew Gulliford: .438 BA, 6 runs

Spencer Warner: .391 BA, 10 RBI

Top Pitchers:

Jasper Rank: 1.61 ERA, 12 strikeouts in 13 IP

Andrew Hensley: 3.00 ERA, 28 strikeouts in 16.1 IP

Evergreen Plainsmen (6-3, 3-2 GSHL)

“I’ve learned that we will live and die with our pitching and defense,” coach Chad Burchett said. “Scoring enough runs will be our challenge each and every game, but our young offense is starting to show some signs.”

Top Hitters:

Tommy Snyder: .348 BA

Russel Fearington: .412 BA

David Montei: .333 BA with 4 doubles

Top Pitchers:

Tommy Snyder: 4-0, 0.98 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 21.1 IP

Jared Morser: 2-0, 1.27 ERA

Carter Monda: 2 saves with 11 strikeouts in 5 IP of relief

Prairie Falcons (3-7, 2-3 GSHL)

“The kids are a lot of fun to work with, and we’re extremely young,” Prairie coach Don Freeman said. “We’ve been in every game. We play well but always find a way to allow the other team to score late in the game. It’s going to take some time.”

The Falcons got one to go their way Monday. Josiah Nickel drove in two runs plus pitched six innings, giving up one run, in a victory over Hudson’s Bay.

Top Hitters:

Robb Blake: “Getting timely hits, batting just shy of .300.”

Josiah Nickel: “Hitting the ball very well, at .300.”

Top Pitchers:

Robb Blake: 2.10 ERA

Josiah Nickel: 2.30 ERA

Fort Vancouver Trappers (1-4 GSHL)

“We’ve learned that we’re close to taking the next step in our program’s rebuild, and that we’ve earned the respect of the other teams in our league,” Fort Vancouver coach Owen Frasier said.

Top Hitters:

Nick Laurenza: .462, 5 doubles, 8 RBI

Tyler Runkle: .333, 10 runs

Top Pitchers:

Evan Siegel: 2-0, 1.79 ERA, 19 strikeouts

Brodie Coates: 1-1, 1 save, 2.56 ERA

Hudson’s Bay Eagles (2-7, 0-5 GSHL)

“We have a lot of young pitchers who are still trying to figure out how to pitch at the varsity level. The more experience we get on the mound, the more successful we are going to be as the season progresses,” Bay coach Rick Skinner said. “Offensively and athletically, we are very strong. Hitting .336 as a team to date.

“We need to get a key win to catapult us for the rest of the season. This is a big week for us.”

Monday, the Eagles showed great fight, scoring three runs in the seventh inning but just missing the comeback, losing by a run to Prairie.

Top Hitters:

Alan Merrill: .478, 3 doubles

Joel Jenisch: .476, 4 doubles, 12 RBI

Trent Palen: .429, 4 doubles, 7 RBI

Top Pitchers:

Joel Jenisch: 1-0

Alan Merrill: 1-1, 14 strikeouts


2A Greater St. Helens League

Hockinson Hawks (5-4, 2-1 GSHL)

“They are competitors. They are also hard workers who are going to put in the work at practice no matter if we are outside or stuck inside,” coach Shaniko Ristau said.

“A lot of our players are guys who played on the state championship football team and they know how to deal with big games and pressure situations. That is huge in a very mental game like baseball. If you are physically and mentally ready to play, there should be nothing to stand in your way.”

Top Hitters:

Niko Niehaus: .467 BA

Colton Wheeler: .456 BA

Canon Racanelli: .440, 1 HR

Top Pitchers:

Niko Niehaus: 1.98 ERA, 13 strikeouts

Blake Sparks: 1.62 ERA, 10 strikeouts

Ridgefield Spudders (7-4, 2-1 GSHL)

“I think we’ve learned that we can be pretty good at all three facets of the game, but we still have to learn how to put them together at a high level,” Ridgefield coach Nick Allen said. “We’ve also learned that we have a deep roster with a lot of guys who can contribute.”

The Spudders played baseball in Arizona during the break.

“Great experience for (Northwest) players to get down there and experience that,” he said.

They returned from Arizona and picked up a league win Monday. Jimmy Wallace drove in four runs.

Top Hitters:

Brock Harrison: .556 BA, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs, 11 RBI

Jeremy Martin: .483 BA, 4 doubles, 7 RBI, 5 stolen bases

Top Pitcher:

Spencer Andersen: 3.50 ERA with 24 strikeouts.

Columbia River Chieftains (6-3, 2-1 GSHL)

“We should be in most every game with how well our pitching staff has thrown. We have defended well, but offensively we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be at the end of the year,” Columbia River coach Stephen Donohue said. “We have faced a lot of really good arms in these first … games so we will be prepared as we move forward in our league play.”

The Chieftains got the post-break part of the season off to a fine start Monday. Nick Nygard and Kade Gerlack combined for a no-hitter in a win over Mark Morris. Nygard struck out 11, pitching into the sixth inning.

Top Hitter:

Nick Nygard: .462 BA, 3 doubles

Top Pitchers:

Nick Nygard: 3-1, 1.08 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 19 IP

Kade Gerlack: 1-0, 1.90 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 18 IP

Washougal Panthers (3-7, 1-3 GSHL)

“Very talented group of young men. I lose a group of seniors this year who I have had the privilege of watching grow up on the baseball field,” Washougal coach Jaycop Collins said. “The majority of our varsity roster have known each other and played together since Little League.”

Top Hitters:

Preston Thornton: .483 BA, 2 RBI

Kirk Brown: .417 BA, 8 RBI

Jason Powell: .400 BA, 3 RBI

Top Pitchers:

Nole Thompson: 15 strikeouts

Kirk Brown: 2.62 ERA, 13 strikeouts

Blaine Bea: 3.62 ERA

Woodland Beavers (6-5, 1-3 GSHL)

“I have a lot of guys who are tired of losing. They’re ready to step up. Starting to realize the potential,” Woodland coach Hunter Huddleston said.

Monday, the Beavers got their first league win of the season, topping defending league champion Hockinson.

“It was a real eye-opener to show what we are capable of doing. Hopefully we can build momentum off of it.”

Top Hitters:

Wyatt Autrey: .436 BA, 10 RBI

Ryan Cooney: .375 BA, 5 RBI

Christian Yager: .293 BA 10 RBI

Bailey Huston: “Crushing the ball,” the coach said.

Top Pitchers:

Ryan Cooney: Freshman, coach said he can see Cooney becoming a Division-I pitcher.

Wyatt Wooden: Moved over from shortstop and has a 0.50 ERA. “He’s been clutch for us.”


Trico League

King’s Way Christian (6-2, 3-0 Trico)

“When we are at full strength, we can be pretty dangerous,” King’s Way Christian coach Gregg Swenson said. “We are still learning as a team the expectations of the new coaching staff, but when the players just play, they can be pretty good.”

Oh yeah, the Knights are the defending state champions.

Top Hitters:

Sam Lauderdale, Damon Casetta-Stubbs, Brannon Merriwether, Riley Danberg (Sorry no stats).

Top Pitchers:

Damon Casetta-Stubbs and Sam Lauderdale.

La Center Wildcats (5-3, 3-0 Trico)

Three seniors are carrying the load with the bats for the Wildcats, according to coach Rob Williamson.

Saige Keep is hitting .536 from the lead-off spot and has scored 16 runs. Hayden Williamson has an on-base percentage of .649 and has 11 RBI and 11 runs. Jack Ossenkop is hitting .548 and has driven in 19 runs.

Senior Clint Smith has the most innings pitched and he has a 2.63 ERA. A pair of freshman have solid numbers, too. Irving Alvarez with a 2.10 ERA and Tom Lambert with a 2.30 ERA.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com 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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