WCCBL announces inaugural East and West All-Star teams

Commissioner Jim Dietz announced the WCCBL’s inaugural East and West teams this afternoon for its first All-Star game next Tuesday, July 11 at 7 pm. The East team features prospects from the league leading Spokane RiverHawks, defending champion Wenatchee AppleSox, Kelowna Falcons and expansion Moses Lake Pirates and will be managed by 2005 WCCBL Coach of the Year Ed Knaggs of Wenatchee. The West team features all-stars from the Aloha Knights, Bellingham Bells, Bend Elks and Kitsap BlueJackets and will be managed by Dale Stebbins of Aloha. The All-Star game is being held at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium in Wenatchee. Below are the league’s All-Star teams as announced by Commissioner Dietz and as chosen Tuesday, July 4 by the WCCBL’s field managers.

2006 WCCBL East All-Star Team

Brent Mertens (Western Oregon), Spokane RiverHawks
Greg Swertfager (Cal Poly SLO), Kelowna Falcons
Tyler McCallum (Washington State), Wenatchee AppleSox
Chris Bozo (Community Colleges of Spokane), Spokane RiverHawks

Chase Powell (University of Portland), Spokane RiverHawks
Marcus McKimmy (Columbia Basin College), Wenatchee AppleSox
Sawyer Carroll (Seminole State College), Kelowna Falcons
Darin Holcomb (Gonzaga), Spokane RiverHawks
Hawkins Gebbers (Biola University), Wenatchee AppleSox

Ryan Fobert (George Fox University), Moses Lake Pirates
Kyle Paul (Vernon College), Kelowna Falcons
Dustin Colclough (Gonzaga), Wenatchee AppleSox

DJ Lidyard (Lower Columbia College), Wenatchee AppleSox
Jeremy Hefner (Seminole State College), Spokane RiverHawks
Luke Farden (Community Colleges of Spokane), Spokane RiverHawks
Heath Taylor (Vernon College), Kelowna Falcons
Chad Hunter (Big Bend CC), Moses Lake Pirates
Tommy Milone (University of Southern California), Wenatchee AppleSox
Nick Haughian (University of Washington), Wenatchee AppleSox
Dale Reneau (Seminole State College), Moses Lake Pirates
Brian Gausman (New Mexico State), Kelowna Falcons

2006 WCCBL West All-Star Team

Brett Kaluza (University of Washington), Kitsap BlueJackets
Zach Borba (UNLV), Aloha Knights
Jake Rife (University of Washington), Bend Elks
Grant Desme (Cal Poly SLO), Bend Elks
Nick Novak (Phoenix College), Bellingham Bells

Mark Samuelson (University of California, Riverside), Aloha Knights
Joey Wong (Sprague High School), Bend Elks
Scott Hardinger (Cornell University), Bellingham Bells
Eric Sogard (Arizona State), Bend Elks
Ryan Selden (Riverside CC), Aloha Knights

Erik Ammon (Oregon State), Aloha Knights
Joe Southers (Phoenix College), Bellingham Bells

Brett Armour (Mesa State College), Bellingham Bells
Ross Humes (Washington State), Kitsap BlueJackets
Matt Duryea (Lane CC), Bend Elks
Jared Prince (Washington State), Aloha Knights
James Wallace (College of Southern Idaho), Aloha Knights
Brian Budrow (Oregon State), Bend Elks
Mike Tachell (Missouri Valley College), Kitsap BlueJackets
Brian Anderson (Midland College), Bellingham Bells
Marc Rzepczynski (University of California, Riverside), Aloha Knights

The WCCBL’s inaugural All-Star Event kicks off Monday, July 10 with the Best of the West banquet dinner at the Red Lion in Wenatchee featuring former MLB great John Olerud. The dinner will celebrate collegiate baseball and feature an exciting lineup of speakers and honored guest John Olerud. Sponsored by Red Lion and Nike, the Best of the West banquet is open to the public and includes a social hour, sit down dinner and such All-Star speakers as emcee Steve Hertz, legendary Washington State Head Baseball Coach Chuck “Bobo” Brayton and current Cougars skipper Donnie Marbut.

Tickets for the dinner cost $35 and a table of eight can be purchased for $250. Contact Nick Caples at (509) 665-6900 asap to reserve your space. Click here for more information.

The WCCBL’s first All-Star game follows Tuesday, July 11 at 7 pm at Wenatchee’s Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium. Gates open at 3 pm.

WCCBL season heating up. Spokane flying high.

Spokane (11-4, 6-0 last week): The RiverHawks currently rule the WCCBL roost after a perfect week that included home sweeps of Kitsap and Bellingham. Coach Steve Hertz Hawks started the week with two come from behind 3-2 wins vs. Kitsap. Spokane’s offense was led by Brent Mertens of Western Oregon University. The senior-to be outfielder went 9 for 19 with 5 runs, 2 doubles, 2 stolen bases and 4 RBI. Junior-to be third baseman Darin Holcomb of Gonzaga hit his league leading 2nd and 3rd homeruns and is leading the Hawks in RBI with 10. Darin leads the WCCBL in total bases with 30. Spokane leads the league in Team ERA at 2.14. Frosh reliever Tommy Tribbett of Washington State won two games in relief to improve his record to 3-0. Chris Bozo of Community Colleges of Spokane leads the WCCBL in hitting with a .394 batting average. Spokane faces the WCCBL defending champion Wenatchee July 3-5 as the first and third place clubs do battle at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

Aloha (10-5, 6-0 last week): Aloha swept Moses Lake and Kelowna at home. The Knights bullpen was the difference as Aloha’s relievers combined for 4 wins and 2 saves and only allowed two earned runs over 18 1/3 innings while striking out 20. Reliever James Wallace of College of Southern Idaho was the pen star. The 37th round 2006 MLB draft pick of Florida struck out 12 while walking none over two appearances and 6 1/3 innings pitched. The right-hander collected a win vs. Moses Lake and save vs. Kelowna. The Knights offense was led by its first baseman duo of junior James Allan of University of Portland and freshman Mark Samuelson of UC Riverside. Allan, the WCCBL co-Player of the Week, went 9 for 18 with 4 doubles and 4 RBI. Samuelson went 7 for 19 with 4 RBI. Mark leads the Knights in homeruns with 2 and hitting with a .367 batting average. All three wins over Moses Lake were by one run and the series first two games went extra innings. The Knights lead the league in team fielding percentage at .973. Second place Aloha visits the league’s top team Spokane July 8-9 at Avista Stadium. Manager Dale Stebbins will guide the West All-Star team July 11 in Wenatchee.

Wenatchee (9-6, 3-3 last week): The AppleSox lost its first series of the year at Bend. The Sox rebounded with a home series win vs. Kitsap. The team’s defense unraveled in its 13-1 loss to the Elks as the Sox committed 8 errors. Wenatchee won the middle game of its road series with Bend 5-3 as the Sox came back from a 3-1 deficit by scoring 4 in the 7th. Nick Haughian, a soph-to be at University of Washington, closed the game to earn his league leading 5th save. DJ Lidyard, a junior-to be at Oregon State, was masterful in the Sox home series opening 5-1 win vs. Kitsap. Lidyard twirled a complete game and struck out 13 while only allowing 5 hits, a walk and one run. Lidyard leads the WCCBL in strikeouts with 30. Freshman infielder Hawkins Gebbers of Biola University leads the Sox in hitting with a .389 batting average. The AppleSox lead the league in hitting with a team batting average of .286. Wenatchee welcomes the first place RiverHawks to Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium July 3-5. Manager Ed Knaggs will skipper the East All-Star team.

Bend (8-7, 5-1 last week): Bend roared back into contention by taking series from Wenatchee and Moses Lake at home. The Elks hammered the defending champs 13-1 to take their home series with the Sox. All-Big West junior-to be Grant Desme of Cal Poly SLO doubled and tripled and went 2 for 4 with 4 runs and 2 RBI to lead the rout. WCCBL co-Player of the Week Matt Duryea closed out the Elks series opening 4-1 win vs. Wenatchee to earn his 3rd league save. The southpaw made three relief appearances last week including a three-inning gem vs. Moses Lake to earn the win in Bend’s 8-5 victory over the Pirates. Bend swept Moses Lake and swept its Saturday doubleheader with the expansion club. All-Pac-10 third baseman Eric Sogard of Arizona State went 5 for 8 in the double dip and junior-to be starting pitcher Kevin Waldron of Cal Poly SLO pitched 5 innings of two-hit ball to pick up the win in Bend’s 7-1 nightcap victory. Bend hosts Kelowna July 3-4 to close its nine-game home stand. The Elks drew 6,008 for its five home dates averaging 1,201 per game including a league high attendance of 1,638 for its Tuesday 5-3 home loss to Wenatchee.

Kelowna (7-8, 1-5 last week): The Falcons stumbled on its first road trip of the season dropping 5 of 6 to Bellingham and Aloha. Kelowna’s lone win was at Bellingham’s Joe Martin Field 6-1. Right-hander Jeff Duda of Lewis-Clark State College earned the victory as the senior-to be tossed 7 innings allowing only 6 hits and one unearned run while walking two and striking out 4. Kyle Paul, a 41st round pick in the 2006 MLB draft by the Cleveland Indians out of Vernon College (TX), leads the Falcons in hitting with a .298 batting average and RBI with 10. Paul is tied for the team lead in doubles with 3 and HR with 1. Relievers Brian Gausman, a senior-to be pitcher at New Mexico State, and Jacob Nix are proving to be a formidable bullpen tandem as Gausman has yet to be scored on and has punched out 10 in 6 1/3 innings pitched over 5 appearances. Nix leads the team in appearances with 7 and has walked only 2 while striking out 14 over 13 1/3 innings pitched. Gausman has two saves and Nix a win and save while posting a 0.68 ERA. Kelowna finishes its grueling 9-game road trip at Bend July 3-4. Kelowna finally returns home July 7 for a three-game set with Wenatchee.

Moses Lake (6-10, 1-6): The Pirates first extended road trip started with three heartbreaking one run losses to Aloha. Moses Lake lost the first two in extra frames. After getting swept by the Knights, the Pirates were roughed up by Bend. The week was not all lost as the scrappy Pirates beat Kitsap in their series opener in Bremerton. Designated hitter Brent Rushin of Yakima Valley CC blasted two homers at Aloha. Moses Lake continues to play good defense as the Pirates are second in the league in team fielding percentage at .971. Junior-to be catcher Ryan Fobert of George Fox University went 3 for 3 with 2 RBI in the Pirates 4-2 win at Kitsap. Fobert went 8 for 13 with 4 RBI for the week and is hitting .433 with 7 RBI for the season. Dale Reneau of Seminole State College has been electric out of the pen as the sophomore right-hander has struck out 14 over 7 appearances and 9 2/3 innings. Reneau has earned 2 saves and posted a miniscule 0.93 ERA. Moses Lake finishes its trip with games vs. Kitsap July 3 and 4 and then heads home to host the hot Bend Elks July 7-9.

Bellingham Bells (5-10, 2-4): The Bells took its first series by beating Kelowna at home. The Bells rode the arm of Brett Armour of Mesa State College as Armour earned his third WCCBL win in as many starts. Armour threw 7 solid innings in the Bells 6-5 series finale and series clinching victory over the Falcons. In the Kelowna series opener, Ross Black of Northern Alabama University tossed 7 shutout innings in the Bells 4-0 win. The southpaw earned the “W” and lowered his ERA to 1.72. Bellingham was swept at Spokane by the first place RiverHawks. Shortstop Scott Hardinger of Cornell is playing great defense as the sophomore-to be has made only one error and sports an impressive .983 fielding percentage. Hardinger also leads the team in hitting with a .342 batting average. The Bells are last in the league in hitting with a sub .200 batting average of .196. Bellingham hosts Aloha July 3-5 before making the ferry ride to Bremerton for a three-game series with Kitsap July 7-9.

Kitsap BlueJackets (5-11, 1-6): Kitsap’s Eastern Washington road trip ended with a rubber game loss to Wenatchee 6-3. The night prior, the BlueJackets upset the Sox 8-7 by scoring 2 runs in the ninth. Sophomore-to be lefty Ross Humes of Washington State earned the win in relief by tossing 5 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. Humes finished off the Sox and tallied 9 strikeouts. Humes is now 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA over 5 appearances, 20 innings and two starts. The opposition is hitting a paltry off .129 of Humes. Sophomore-to be outfielder Brett Kaluza of University Washington was the Jackets hitting star going 4 for 4 with 3 runs, a double, a stolen base and RBI. Kaluza is hitting .311 with 11 stolen bases. Kitsap finishes its three-game set with Moses Lake July 3-4 before hosting rival Bellingham July 7-9.

The WCCBL is dedicated to player development, player exposure and to providing affordable summer entertainment to its member communities.