2023 Spring Sports Preview: Baseball capsules for the Greater Spokane League
Mar. 17—From staff reports
Capsules for the Greater Spokane League 2023 baseball programs.
Teams listed in alphabetical order. Records and standings from 2022 season.
Central Valley (9-14, 9-9, fifth): Beau Kerns is back for his second season as coach after 13 letterwinners graduated. "We have a core group of juniors looking to step up," he said. "If we figure out how to play the game properly, we could have some success." Senior P/1B Joe Pitts and sophomore UTL Kamden Lanphere are key returners.
Cheney (8-14, 8-10, sixth): Seven starters are back for coach Rob Beamer's fourth year at the helm, led by first-year All-GSL junior pitcher Quinn Hubbs, regarded as one of the top arms in the league by the coaches. "We should be very solid with pitching and defense," Beamer said. "If we can score a few runs, we will have a great season." Seniors Eli and Jamel Chabot bring experience for the Blackhawks.
Ferris (5-15, 5-13, eighth): Eight letterwinners and six starters return for the Saxons, including senior P Castle Keaton and infielder Cole Bohnert. Jimmy Smith, formerly the freshman coach and varsity pitching coach for the Saxons, takes over as head coach.
Gonzaga Prep (16-8, 13-5, fourth): Brian Munhall returns for his 14th season after leading the Bullpups to districts as the top GSL 4A seed. Just two starters return from that team, including honorable mention All-GSL C Hunter Derr. "We will lack experience, but our underclassmen are very strong," Munhall said.
Lewis and Clark (7-14, 6-12, seventh): Seven starters return for coach Steve Bennett, entering his 11th season with the Tigers. "Our depth is good, and we're experienced," he said. "The boys will need to take the next step as playmakers in all three phases to beat the top teams." Second-team All-GSL picks SS Parker Ereaux, OF Kyle Wilkinson and UTL Cooper Jeffries are leaders.
Mead (16-7, 14-4, third): "We have a young, talented team," sixth-year coach Steve Hare said. "If we can put it all together, we will be a very good team." Six starters return from last season, led by a trio of junior first team All-GSL picks: OF Max Workman, C Xavier Hattenberg and P Cole Startin. Junior P Emerson Fleck is headed to WSU.
Mt. Spokane (23-6, 16-2, first): The Wildcats placed third at state for coach Alex Schuerman, entering his 20th season, and return 12 letterwinners and five starters from that team. Three are first-team All-GSL: senior 1B Gavin Wideman, senior C Rece Schuerman and junior INF Cooper Davis. "We have a strong nucleus from last year's third-place team," Schuerman said. Offense shouldn't be a problem, but "we need the staff to get their feet wet quickly," he added.
North Central (1-18, 1-17, 10th): Curly Rousseau takes over as coach with the Wolfpack and will lean on returning All-GSL honorable mentions senior P/OF Spencer Mahn, senior 3B/P Anthony Nelson and sophomore C/P Kia Carruthers. "Despite six letterwinner, we are young on experience and looking to improve in all phases, particularly on the mound," Rousseau said.
Ridgeline (2-18, 2-16, ninth): Jeramie Maupin returns for his sixth season overall and second with the Falcons, with an entire squad of returning varsity athletes. "After a year of struggling on the scoreboard but growing both individually and as a team throughout the year, I am very excited for this upcoming season," he said. Junior INF Easton Amend was second-team All-GSL last season.
University (18-5, 16-2, first): Dominic Longo takes over as the leader of the Titans after the graduation of his cousin, Ricco Longo. Dom is one of five seniors, all all-league selections, for coach Kevin May in his seventh season. "Our strength is the depth at pitching along with the versatility of young position players to play numerous positions," May said. "We carry a relatively small roster, so it will be important to stay healthy."
East Valley (10-12, 8-7, third): Coach Justin Sinn starts his second season with eight starters and 11 letterwinners back, led by first-team All-GSL pitcher Tucker Duke and second-team UTL Owen Spendlove. "We need to stay hungry on the field and at the plate to be competitive," Sinn said.
Pullman (10-13, 8-7, fourth): The Greyhounds return seven letterwinners and six starters for coach Kevin Agnew in his fourth season, led by All-GSL first team sophomore UTL Joey Hecker. Seniors OFs Max McCloy and Brendan Doumit provide experience and leadership.
Rogers (0-19, 0-15, sixth): The dean of Spokane baseball, James Wasem, returns for his 30th season with the Pirates. Eight starters return as well, led by All-GSL sophomore pitcher Jackson Ables. "Most of our players have had varsity experience and all but two have had experience on the mound," Wasem said. "We just haven't played a lot of baseball the past three years with COVID."
Shadle Park (18-5, 13-2, second): Scott Harmon starts his second campaign with the Highlanders after 17 years at North Central with nine returning letterwinners but just four starters. Three are All-GSL first team picks: C Dylan Kakuda, P Andrew Fox and OF Beckett Ensminger — all seniors. "There are very few juniors in the program," Harmon said. "A number of younger players will need to step up."
West Valley (18-5, 13-2, first): The Eagles were league and district champs last season before falling in the first round at state. Coach Cory Aitken, in his eighth season, has five starters back from that team, including first team All-GSL picks SS Johnny Macall and 2B Tanner Hancock. "We are not as deep of a team as we were last year," Aitken said. "We will need to rely on a few younger kids to step into some positions."