On July 20th, Woodinville’s summer baseball club lost to Lakeside 6-3 in a semi-final game in the Washington state “AA” District Tournament at Woodinville High School. With that loss, the Falcons were eliminated. The top two finishers, Lakeside and Eastlake, advanced to the state tournament.
But as far as the Falcons were concerned, the additional practice time was tantamount to success.
Many youngsters from the JV squad got a chance to play, but a handful of varsity players spotted the lineup as well.
Chief among them was center fielder Derek Svanevik, who batted lead-off.
“Basically this was like a summer tryout,” Svanevik said. “Most kids in a high school season that don’t play for this team don’t get a chance to be around the coaches as much as we do. It’s a really big advantage being around the coaches the whole summer, so they can see what you’ve got and how you can play.”
In the loss to Lakeside, young Falcons began emerging as potential stars of the future. Pitcher Brian Rutherford showed good command and demonstrated a fine curveball. Davis Baille found a multitude of ways to get on base. Third baseman Henry Coba has a presence about him on the field. And shortstop Matt Quarre made a couple of diving plays reminiscent of the recently graduated star Caleb Hamilton.
“There are a lot of people who could play shortstop, but I feel like it’s Matt’s job to win,” Svanevik said. “He’s got good range and a really good arm. He’s made good progress throughout the year. The coaches moved him to shortstop at the end of the high school year. At first you could tell he wasn’t that confident. But after awhile, he started looking really comfortable out there.”
Svanevik was asked to identify two other players that fans should keep an eye in 2014.
“Freshman Taylor Merry,” Svanevik said. “He doesn’t look like the most athletic kid, but he does everything right. He never does anything wrong. He has a huge upside; there’s not really a big downside to him.”
“ Also, (right fielder) Brett Donland,” he said. “Over the course of the last month he has hit the (blank) out of the ball. He’s really good. When we were up in Alaska (for a recent tournament) he did the same thing.”
Woodinville assistant coach Alan Dillman was asked his assessment of Svanevik’s progress.
“Derek played in this tournament like he had all summer by doing whatever he could to try and help this team win,” Dillman said. “He has done everything we have asked, even getting back on the mound and pitching after not having done that for a few years. We knew coming into the summer that Derek was a good baseball player and we wanted him to grow more as a team leader. He did a great job of that and set the expectations for our younger players.”