The NCAA Division I Baseball Championship begins Friday, and Jackson High School will be well represented.
Jackson graduates Case Matter, Ben Steck and Dominic Hellman are all on teams that qualified for the 64-team tournament, as schools vie to be one of the eight teams to advance to the Men’s College World Series on June 15-26 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Matter is a sophomore right-handed pitcher at Washington, which was given the No. 3 seed to the Stillwater Regional. Matter has appeared in 18 games, compiling a 4-1 record and 2.96 ERA while walking 20 and striking out 33 in 24.1 innings. The Huskies (34-18) open at 10 a.m. (PT) Friday against second-seeded Dallas Baptist (45-14).
Steck is a junior catcher at Santa Clara, which is the No. 4 seed in the Fayetteville Regional. In 48 games Steck is batting .248 with six home runs and 31 RBI. The Broncos (35-18) face top-seeded Arkansas (41-16) at noon (PT) Friday.
Hellman is a freshman infielder at Oregon, which was made the No. 2 seed in the Nashville Regional. Hellman is batting .250 with one homer and five RBI in 13 games, but hasn’t played since April 9 because of an undisclosed injury. The Ducks (37-20) face third-seeded Xavier (37-23) at 10 a.m. (PT) Friday.
The 16 winners from this weekend’s double-elimination regionals advance to super regionals. Super regionals are best-of-three series for spots in Omaha.
White headed back to NCAA track and field nationals
Everett High School graduate Jayden White, now a junior on the University of Washington men’s track and field team, is returning to the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the third straight year.
White, who competes in the hammer throw, placed sixth at the West Preliminary Championships held last week in Sacramento, California, with a throw of 227 feet, 4 inches. The top 12 advanced to nationals, which take place June 7-10 in Austin, Texas.
White will be looking to earn All-American honors for the third straight year, as he was an honorable mention in 2021 when he placed 24th at nationals, and he was a second-teamer in 2022 when he finished ninth.
White won’t be joined at nationals by Taylor Roe. The Lake Stevens High School graduate, now a senior at Oklahoma State, just missed qualifying for nationals as she placed 13th in the women’s 5,000 meters in a time of 15 minutes, 50.70 seconds. Roe placed third in the 5,000 at nationals last year and is an eight-time All-American.
Klemp earns All-WCC baseball honors
Cascade High School graduate Nich Klemp, who just completed his graduate season as a catcher on the University of Portland baseball team, was named first-team All-West Coast Conference.
Klemp, in his first season as a full-time starter for the Pilots, batted a team-leading .390 with 25 doubles, six home runs and 45 RBI in 51 games. His 25 doubles broke the school’s single-season record, and his .390 batting average ranks in the top 10 in school history.
Klemp helped Portland finish the season 17-10 in conference play and 31-23 overall.
Silvertips sign first-round picks
For just the second time in franchise history the Everett Silvertips had two first-round picks in the WHL prospects draft, and just two weeks later the Tips have commitments from both as Brek Liske and Caine Wilke have signed WHL scholarship and development agreements with the team.
Liske, a defenseman from Beausejour, Manitoba, was selected 10th overall in the draft. The 6-foot, 170-pounder had 10 goals and 24 assists in 26 games with the Northern Alberta Xtreme U15 team last season, then added 11 points in five postseason games as the Xtreme won the CSSHL championship.
Wilke, a center from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was taken with the 20th-overall pick, which was acquired from Kamloops in the trade that sent Olen Zellweger and Ryan Hofer to the Blazers. The 5-foot-8, 155-pound Wilke had 28 goals and 43 assists in 29 games with the Saskatoon Stallions U15 AA team, adding 12 points in four postseason contests.
As 2008-born players, Liske and Wilke are eligible to join Everett full-time in the 2024-25 season.
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