On May 26, the Cashmere baseball team won the 1A state championship with a 4-0 win over Naches Valley at Yakima County Stadium.
Six days later, the Bulldogs played the first two games of their summer schedule. Their opponent last Sunday? Why, the Rangers, of course.
Since Cashmere’s summer schedule had already been completed before the teams met up in the state title game, the ‘re-match’ was just a very interesting coincidence.
“Very much so,” Cashmere head coach Jeff Carlson said with a laugh.
Cashmere went 26-0 on its title run this spring, and continued its unbeaten year Sunday with two more victories over Naches Valley — 8-6 and 7-0.
Both teams looked drastically different Sunday. The Rangers are due to return several starters in 2013, but two of their best players (Koleman Johns and Ben Wells) are playing for the Yakima Pepsi Pak this summer; only one starter that played in the title game (Cam Walker) played Sunday.
The 2012 Cashmere team featured eight senior starters. The only returning starter, sophomore-to-be Mason Elliott, earned the win on the mound in the twinbill opener Sunday.
“Mason is going to have a drastically different role next year,” Carlson said. “His days as an outfielder are over. He’ll be an infielder and one of our top pitchers. He’ll take on a big-time role for us.
“(Sunday) was a great experience for our younger guys to get thrown into the fire. It was very different personnel, but that being said, I was pleasantly surprised with how things went. We have a long ways to go, but our guys came ready to play and did some good things. We have our work cut out for us next week when we play Cascade for a three-game series.”
• More Cashmere baseball notes: Graduated seniors Kyle Weiler and Colton Loomis have been selected to participate in the 2012 All State Series at Yakima County Stadium this weekend. The series will be made up of four teams and 72 of the best players in Washington (all classifications represented).
Weiler and Loomis are two of four players selected from the North Central Washington Feeder game last Saturday (Ellensburg’s Michael Wyatt and Ephrata’s Josh Snider were the others). Weiler and Loomis will be playing on Team Baker, which will be coached by the Cashmere coaching staff and will play at noon Saturday against Team Adams.
• Graduated senior Mitchell Darlington has signed a Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges letter of intent to play baseball at Big Bend Community College next season.
Darlington, the Bulldogs’ second baseman, finished the 2012 season with a .427 batting average, 31 runs, 17 runs batted in and went all season without striking out. He hit a walk-off single in the seventh inning of Cashmere’s state semifinal victory over Kalama.
Here’s what new Vikings coach Pete Doumit had to say about Darlington:
“The Big Bend baseball program is very excited to have Mitchell join us. His character, work ethic, academic ability and skills will fit nicely with the direction the program is headed and with the legacy we plan to build. He is an outstanding recruit for us.”
Darlington is one of seven players from the 2012 Bulldogs squad that will play a sport in college next year. Loomis will play baseball for the Community Colleges of Spokane; Kyle Weiler and Alex Chipman will play baseball for Grays Harbor College; Cooper Elliott has signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Community Colleges of Spokane (although Carlson said Elliott is considering a school in Oregon that is interested in him joining it baseball team); Trenton Johnson will play basketball at Wenatchee Valley College; and Jake Dilly will play football for Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla.
• Before they get to their respective colleges, Loomis, Chipman, Weiler, Johnson, Elliott and Darlington will play for the Apple Valley Packers this summer.
“I’m excited about that,” Carlson said. “(Brewster coach Jerrod) Riggan is taking over this year, which is great. It’s exciting for us to be well-represented in senior legion ball. It will be a good barometer for those guys to see what they need to work on heading into fall ball.”