The 2018 season was a challenging spring for Mercer Island Islanders baseball player Liam Dammeier.
Dammeier, who played through a torn UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) in his right elbow during his junior campaign, was only permitted to throw 50 pitches per game because of the injury.
The Mercer Island senior ace is completely healed and is dominating during his final season of high school baseball in 2019. Mercer Island head coach Dominic Woody said Dammeier’s earned run average is under one earned run per game. Dammeier has an overall record of 3-1 on the hill thus far. His only loss on the rubber was a 1-0 setback against the Liberty Patriots on April 1.
“He has hit the ground running, has not stopped. Yesterday he gave up a home run (Mercer Island won 11-1 against Juanita on April 22) and I think it’s the first home run he has given up in his life. He has just been a total stud for us this year,” Woody said during a practice session on April 23.
Dammeier is thrilled to be fully healthy since his sophomore season in 2017.
“I have kind of had a little renaissance. The last few years we’ve had a lot of senior leaders to look up to. They were big-time players. This year it’s me and a couple of my buddies over there,” Dammeier said while motioning toward the batting cages at Island Crest Park. “I know a lot of that is on me. If I don’t execute, then we are in a tough position to win. That is a lot of pressure.”
Woody isn’t surprised Dammeier has put together a senior year for the ages.
“He is the youngest of three brothers who have come through the program. I have known their family for over a decade now. I have been able to watch him from Little League all the way up. Just to see how he has delivered his senior year after coming off the injury he had is amazing,” Woody said.
Dammeier said the Islanders roster are huge fans of Woody’s style of coaching. The 40-year-old Woody is well known for being adept at connecting with players.
“He knows baseball better than pretty much anyone I know. He is good at relating to kids. It hasn’t been that long since he’s been in our position,” Dammeier explained. “He sympathizes with us. He knows how we think. We love playing for him.”
With the playoffs looming on the immediate horizon, the Islanders continue to right the ship after suffering a four-game losing streak earlier in the season. Mercer Island has won four of its past five games on the diamond.
“It is a big momentum booster. We knew the second half of our season was going to be our redemption tour. We have beaten every team mercy rule (by 10 runs or more) except for LW (Lake Washington). LW is the No. 1 team in the state right now. Hopefully we will get another shot at them in the KingCo championship game,” Dammeier said.