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Senior Day was Monday, April 25th. The Bulldogs celebrated the careers of six seniors (Eli Wilson, Caleb Stocker, Aidin Montefisher, Aidan Miller, Spencer Mann & Mikio Habu) and their parents before the final home game of the regular season. The Roosevelt Roughriders, tied for 1st place overall in the conference, drew first blood, scoring three runs in the top of the 3rd inning. The starting pitcher was sharp for 6 innings, with the Bulldogs unable to get more than a single baserunner in any inning until the 7th when they put pressure on the Roosevelt bullpen. Wilson started the rally with a triple to leadoff the final inning. Garfield plated a couple runs and had the tying run in scoring position before a second Roughrider reliever recorded the final out for a 4-2 loss for the Bulldogs. The loss, along with wins by Bainbridge and West Seattle, dropped Garfield from 1st place to 3rd place.

The C-Team defeated Ballard 12-2 at Loyal Heights on Monday to pull to within a single game of .500.

JV lost their game at Roosevelt in extra innings, 7-6. Garfield couldn’t hang on to a 5-0 lead. Roosevelt took a 6-5 lead into the 6th, but the Bulldogs were able to tie it and then send it to the 8th inning. The walkoff win for the Roughriders came off a fly ball just beyond the reach of the Bulldogs outfielder in pursuit. Tim Arnold had a triple, Ben Wong and Luke Levasseur both had doubles to lead the Garfield bats.

The Varsity’s second game of the week (Wednesday, April 27th) was against the other team tied for 1st place in the overall league standings, the Lakeside Lions. The Bulldogs needed a victory to have a shot at winning the Mountain division. A Lions win on their Senior Day would clinch a Coast division title for them. Garfield scored a run in the top of the 4th inning off a Kepler Swanson RBI single and another in the top of the 5th inning off a Klaus Bachhuber RBI single. Alex Gregory had a great outing on the mound, allowing a run in the bottom of the 5th inning. The Lions got lucky with a hard-hit grounder that looked like it could be a double play ball bouncing off the umpire behind the pitchers mound for a base hit. With that play, the momentum changed and Lakeside was able to score a couple more on a single off closer Jack Alden to take a 3-2 lead, which they would hold on to for the victory. The loss cemented the Bulldogs placed in the division standings at 3rd, meaning they would play their first playoff game on Thursday, May 5th.

JV also lost to Lakeside that afternoon 6-5, after allowing five runs in the top of the 1st inning. Nelson Huffaker, Willie Vogel, and Aaron Kern each had a pair of singles to lead the offense, with Kern knocking in a couple runs.

The C-Team didn’t fare so well against O’Dea at Judkins on Thursday, April 28th, losing 9-2. The teams are scheduled to meet again in the final week of the season at Garfield. Needing a pair of victories to get up to .500, the C-Team swept a doubleheader at Kennedy on Saturday, April 30th. The morning game was a close 8-4 victory, but the afternoon rematch was decisive with Garfield winning 11-0 in 5 innings.

On Saturday, April 30th, Garfield was scheduled to play defending 2A state champion Centralia in the most anticipated game of the season. The Bulldogs and Tigers got to square off at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma. The offense got started early scoring a three quick runs in the top of the 1st inning. Garfield would score in five of the seven innings that afternoon to record a 9-0 win. The Bulldogs pitching by committee (Aidin Montefisher, Aidan Miller, Zubin Kopischke, J’Raan Brooks, Jack Alden) was great with the team allowing only two hits and zero walks. All 16 Varsity players got to share in the team’s success, with everyone getting playing time. Eli Wilson hit a double and triple, Owen Cobb had three hits and four runs batted in, Alex Gregory had a pair of singles to snap a slump, and Kepler Swanson added a couple hits at the top of the lineup.

Varsity: 10-10 overall, 9-9 in conference

JV: 10-9 overall, 9-8 in conference

C-Team: 9-9 overall, 6-3 in conference


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2016 Week 8 Recap

On the hottest day of the year, the Bulldogs traveled to Steve Cox Park in White Center for a matchup with the Seattle Prep Panthers. Last year, Prep took 2 of 3 games against Garfield between the regular season and the playoffs. The Bulldogs struck first with an early run on Monday, April 18th, but a defensive error led to a couple Prep runs to make it a 2-1 ballgame. Garfield’s offense tacked on three runs in the 4th inning and led the game until a late Panther rally in the bottom of the 6th off starter Aidan Miller gave them a 6-4 lead. The bases were left loaded in the top of the 7th with the same score, with the Bulldogs falling short. Travis Weaver, Eli Wilson, Owen Cobb and J’Raan Brooks each had a couple hits to lead the offense.

Garfield’s JV team defeated Seattle Prep at home 5-4 with three runs in the final frame. Willie Vogel had the game-tying hit and Ben Wong had the walkoff triple to seal the deal. Jonas Hyllseth added two hits. Ian Kirk took the win in relief with a couple scoreless innings pitched.

The C-Team hosted Eastside Catholic on Tuesday, April 19th. In an action-packed game with several balls crushed over the heads of outfielders, the Bulldogs prevailed 12-7 to sweep the season series with the Crusaders.

JV had a makeup game at Bainbridge, which started off on a good note with Leo Swan allowing only an unearned run in three innings. The Bulldogs offense wasn’t able to get much going, with only two hits on the afternoon. The Spartans put up some runs in the middle innings off Jae Abrams and hung on for a 6-2 victory, snapping the 8-game winning streak for Garfield JV.

A pair of games against Cleveland marked the last round of Varsity divisional play this spring. The Bulldogs scored early and often in the game at Garfield on Wednesday, April 20th to win 13-0 in 4-1/2 innings. J’Raan Brooks had seven runs batted in and hit two home runs, the Bulldogs first bombs of the season. Klaus Bachhuber added a pair of doubles. Mikio Habu had a triple and a single. Owen Cobb had a double and a single. Great performance by the Garfield offense. The pitching was stout, holding Cleveland hitless for all 5 innings.

Mercer Island hosted the Bulldogs JV in a nonleague game on Thursday, April 21st. Ben Wong threw a complete game, allowing three runs (only one earned) over six innings but it wasn’t enough to pick up the W. Garfield’s offense was only able to get two hits as the Islanders pitchers got the job done in their 3-1 victory.

The Varsity rematch with Cleveland on Friday, April 22nd was a similar outcome. The Bulldogs pitching staff combined to hold the Eagles hitless until the bottom of the 5th inning. Owen Cobb and Mikio Habu each had four hits in the game. Kepler Swanson scored four runs. Cobb had four RBI and Jae Abrams had three RBI to lead the Garfield run production. The Garfield win marked a season sweep of the Mountain Division, with the Bulldogs winning the season series against all three opponents for a 6-0 divisional record!

JV won their matchup with the Ballard Beavers 5-4 that afternoon at Whitman. The Bulldogs fell behind 3-0, but came back with a couple runs in the top of the 6th and a few more in the top of the 7th for the clutch come-from-behind victory. Kelvin Wallace knocked in the go-ahead run to put Garfield ahead for good. The final inning had plenty of pressure, with Ballard loading the bases with no outs, but Eli Powell slammed the door shut by retiring the final three batters to pick up the save.

The C-Team had a Friday afternoon game at home against a strong Mercer Island team. This final matchup between the two freshman teams was similar to the previous ones, with the Islanders taking it by a score of 12-2.

Newport got the best of the Garfield C-Team on Saturday, April 23rd by a score of 7-1 to sweep the season series. The Bulldogs offense was led by Jack Bryant, who had a double and a single.

Varsity: 9-8 overall, 9-7 in conference

JV: 10-7 overall, 9-6 in conference

C-Team: 6-8 overall, 5-2 in conference


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2016 Week 7 Recap

The Bulldogs began spring break with a trip to Whitman on Monday, April 11th to play the Ballard Beavers. Garfield gave up three runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, but was able to bounce right back in the 2nd and eventually take a 4-3 lead in the 4th. The bullpen held Ballard scoreless for a couple innings before 2 leadoff walks came around the score in the bottom of the 7th. The Bulldogs lost on a bases-loaded catchers interference walkoff call for a 5-4 Ballard win. Tough way to lose to a rival. Spencer Mann had a RBI triple. Alex Gregory & J’Raan Brooks each had a pair of hits.

The JV team matched up with Ballard that same afternoon, took an early lead and hung on to win a home game 5-3. The C-Team played the Beavers the following day and were rained out in the 3rd inning with Garfield holding a large lead. When the game is rescheduled, it will be replayed from the beginning in accordance with conference rules.

Wednesday, April 13th was the Franklin-Garfield game, this year played on the Bulldogs turf. Franklin kept the game tight, only allowing three runs until the Bulldogs bats were able to break it open for a 8-1 lead in the bottom of the 5th. Aidan Miller picked up the win on the mound and added a RBI single in 8-1 victory. Spencer Mann had a double, single and 2 RBI, Eli Wilson a triple and a single, Alex Gregory a triple to lead the offensive attack.

Garfield’s C-Team hosted Chief Sealth on Thursday, April 14th and won handily 16-1. The Bulldogs JV started slowly, but scored enough in the middle innings to defeat Seattle Prep 10-0 in 5 innings in the Garfield doubleheader.

Chief Sealth played at Garfield on Friday, April 15th and quickly scored a run to take a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs answered with a run in the bottom of the 1st and went on to score runs in 3 more separate innings to hang on for a 4-1 victory over the Seahawks. Alex Gregory pitched 6 strong innings, while Jack Alden bounced back with a strong effort to record the save. Spencer Mann had a couple hits and Eli Wilson added a double. Freshman Owen Cobb was the star of the day at the plate with 3 singles and 2 stolen bases.

JV won their  game at Chief Sealth by a lopsided score of 24-3 under Coach Doherty to make it a 8-game winning streak for the JVs. Nelson Huffaker and Jonas Hyllseth each had 5 RBIs while Willie Vogel chipped in with 3 RBI.

Varsity: 7-7 overall, 7-6 in conference

JV: 8-5 overall, 7-5 in conference

C-Team: 5-6 overall, 4-2 in conference


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Bulldogs get ready for first playoff game in over 20 years

Bulldogs get ready for first playoff game in over 20 years

Coaches meeting at home plate for Kingco Quarterfinal playoff game

Coaches meeting at home plate for Kingco Quarterfinal playoff game

2013 Varsity team picture on Senior Day after clinching playoff spot

2013 Varsity team picture on Senior Day after clinching playoff spot

2013 Senior Class (Tavish Fenbert, Chandler Honican, Hayes Gorecki)

2013 Senior Class (Tavish Fenbert, Chandler Honican, Hayes Gorecki)

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April 23, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Is this heaven? No, it’s high-school baseball

Posted by Don Shelton

By Bill Kossen / Seattle Times staff

When he was 13, Bill Kossen tried out for a baseball team and had high hopes of making it. But he struck out looking at three pitches in his only at bat and made a throwing error on the only ball that came to him. He then got cut and never tried out again. “”But I don’’t dwell on it,”” he says year after year. ““I’’ve moved on.”

Want to take yourself out to a ballgame where there is plenty of good action, you can sit in the front row, your appearance is appreciated and it’s free?

Batter up and head on out to a high-school baseball game. These guys are really good and hardly anyone outside of their coaches, parents, friends and occasional fans that drop by probably know it.

It might have something to do with Seattle’s often-rainy, cold, windy spring weather that can play havoc with schedules and fan comfort, and because the games start right after school when many people who would like to watch them can’t because of work or whatever.

But thanks to the use of synthetic turf and in some cases synthetic dirt, the weather isn’’t as big a factor as it used to be. That leaves you with one less good excuse.

So let me tell you what you’’re missing. I recently went to a high-school baseball game, the first I’’ve seen since I was in high school and I’’m sure not going to wait that long again to see another.

It was the Garfield-Eastlake game. I probably wouldn’’t have gone if not for running into Garfield’’s varsity baseball coach, Chris Moedritzer, at basketball and football games, where he would be selling baseball caps to raise money and drum up interest in his team.

I’’d buy a cap, and he’’d say thanks and encourage me to come out and watch a game. Sure, I’’d reply, thinking I might drop by some time for an inning or two, figuring he would quickly forget about me and my halfhearted promise.

Surprise. When he saw me at the game, he recognized me right away and said hi. And why wouldn’’t he? I was one of only four fans in the Garfield bleachers at the beginning of the game. Kind of stood out in that crowd. (More showed up later, while the Eastlake Wolves arrived at Garfield Park with more than a dozen fans.)

So I sat down next to Tony Barker, a former high-school and college baseball player from Minnesota. Barker, a counselor at YouthCare in Seattle, told me that he lives in the neighborhood and likes to drop by and catch a game from time to time.

Several Garfield parents sat at a table behind the bleachers, keeping score, operating the PA system and even handing out game programs that included a short story on the upcoming game and season, plus player bios.

A reggae song boomed out of the PA speakers as the Bulldogs took infield practice before the first pitch. A warm breeze and short shots of sun broke through the clouds on a day that began with torrential rain.

What a great day for baseball, I thought. Let’s play one. The song ended, and it was game time.

“Welcome Garfield baseball fans!” came the greeting from announcer Brian Chase, whose son Alex is on the team. “Attendance today will rival the Mariners last night.”

That got a big laugh from the crowd, which was even smaller than the M’’s record-breaking sparse turnout the night before. And that turned out to be a big bonus for fans. We could hear everything being said on the field. Not only the ump crying out balls and strikes and the usual chatter among ballplayers, but we also could hear the players muttering about calls that didn’’t go their way and hear their teammates trying to calm them down so they wouldn’’t be tossed out of the game.

How fun. Here we were, sitting for free in seats so close to the field they could cost more than $1,000 if they were in the new Yankee Stadium. Instead we were at “”Historic Garfield Park”” as it said on the new scoreboard.

This was the same field where many, many years ago (long before I was born) a family legend was born. My grandfather, who lived across the street, was watching a game when a baseball bat the size of a small log slipped out of a batter’’s hand and somehow ended up in Grandpa’’s hands. He was a tough, strong old dude who worked as a blacksmith when he was younger, so I’’d like to think he just put up his hand and grabbed that big bat out of the air as effortlessly as that guy who caught a foul ball in his beer cup the other night at the M’s game.

I have that old bat, a “Spalding B1” that looks like something Babe Ruth might have used, except that a big chunk of it down by the nub was sawed off so we could swing it as kids. I took it to the game to see if it could work some magic. It did.

The first three innings was a classic pitchers’’ duel between Eastlake’’s Connor Graham and Garfield’’s Justin Arkills-McLain, with both teams playing solid defense that rivaled what you would see at Safeco. The infielders smoothly turned double plays and snared hot line drives, outfielders chased down long fly balls and the pitchers hummed along with good control and fastballs that might have broken 80 mph. It all added up to some exciting, well-played baseball.

““I’’m impressed with the fundamentals,”” Barker told me more than once.

Then, in the bottom of the third, Hayes Gorecki came to the plate, wearing the Garfield purple and white.

““Let’’s go, Purple Hayes!”” someone yelled. The clever reference to the song by Garfield’’s Jimi Hendrix was followed by Gorecki getting on base and eventually coming around to score.

That however, seemed to wake up Eastlake’’s offense, too. The visitors pounded out eight hits and took advantage of a few Garfield errors on their way to a 6-1 KingCo 4A victory, although the game seemed much closer and more exciting than the score would indicate. Coach Moedritzer was gracious in defeat, praising the Eastlake pitcher.

““He was effective in that when we did hit it hard, it was always right at someone,” Garfield’s coach said. “He pitched a great game against us.””

And it was a great game. Instead of only sticking around for an inning or two, I stayed for the entire game. It was over too soon.

Let’’s play two!

Want to be a reader contributor to The Seattle Times’ Take 2 blog? Email your original, previously unpublished work or proposal to Sports Editor Don Shelton at dshelton@seattletimes.com or sports@seattletimes.com. Not all submissions can be published. The Times reserves the right to edit and publish any submissions online and/or in print.

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Pitching and defense were the strong points all season long throughout Kingco baseball. Sure enough, the Senior All-Star game was more of the same. Both sides looked strong on the mound and in the field. Kingco 4A won the afternoon game at Woodinville High School 6-1 in just under 90 minutes. The evening game was even shorter, resulting in a 1-0 Kingco 4A victory. Garfield’s lone senior in the event, John Trupin, started at DH in the 1st game. He was 1 for 1 with an infield single, was hit by a pitch, stole 2 bases, and scored 2 runs.

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