The Class 3A state baseball championship game will take place on May 26 at Gesa Stadium in Pasco.
I wouldn’t be surprised in the least bit if the Mercer Island Islanders boys baseball squad and a multitude of their dedicated fans will make the 216-mile trek to Eastern Washington on Memorial Day weekend for the Class 3A state title game. The Islanders, who captured third place at the 2017 Class 3A state tournament, won the Class 3A state crown in 2015. The Islanders have dominated its opponents in early season action, building a 10-0 overall record thus far. The Islanders have outscored their opponents 97-38 in 10 contests.
Before former Mercer Island sportswriter Joe Livarchik left Sound Publishing in the April of 2017, he raved about how much he enjoyed covering the Mercer Island Islanders baseball program over the years. Last season, I finally got to experience the thrill of covering the Islanders epic run in the postseason last spring.
One of my favorite memories from the 2017 spring sports season was the Islanders 12-4 victory against the Bonney Lake Panthers in a loser-out, winner to Class 3A state semifinals playoff game at Bannerwood Park last May. The Islanders had a rough first inning (committed four throwing errors) but were mentally tough enough to overcome their miscues en route to an eight-run triumph. Mercer Island pitcher Robert Weaver committed three of those throwing errors in the top of the first inning but responded with a complete game performance on the hill, propelling the Islanders to the semifinals.
Some high school teams might get down on themselves, lose their confidence and falter after a sluggish start like that with their season on the line. That simply didn’t happen to the Islanders. Mercer Island always has responded to adversity over the past several years in pressure situations.
Mercer Island head coach Dominic Woody, who has been leading the program since 2013, is the epitome of a leader from the dugout and third base line. Woody is a staunch disciplinarian who cares immensely about his players. The Islanders 2018 roster is stacked with college-bound players on the diamond. Greg Fuchs (Oregon State University), Matt Boissoneault (Seattle University), Alex Shanks (Gonzaga), Cole Miller (University of Washington) and Weaver (University of Puget Sound) have already committed to their respective collegiate baseball programs.
The talent and work ethic of the Islanders is undeniable. I can’t wait to see how the team performs in the playoffs in 2018!