2017 : 10-10 (5-10)
Key returners: SR Lucas Allen, SR Nick Bentsen, JR Blake Hall, JR Mason Stier, SO Charlie Galanti
Key Loses: Steve Emanuels, Naoki Harmer, Duncan Varela, John Buscher.
Key games: 4/2 vs. Juanita, 4/4 vs Liberty, 4/6 vs Sammamish
The 2017 Saints scored a ton of runs but couldn't make all those runs add up to victories last year. Interlake will have to replace #1 & #2 spots in the starting rotation and a number of defensive positions. So this year will be a trial by fire approach as the Saints look to rebuild.
One player returning to help the reboot is Lucas Allen. All Allen did was lead the team in hitting with a .410 avg, 18RBIs, 7 doubles, a triple and two homers. The Saints will be counting on junior Blake Hall .269, 10RBI, 2-2B & HR in his sophomore campaign to join Allen in the middle of Interlake batting order. Outside of those two the Saints will look for production from senior Adam Jacques, sophomore Charlie Galanti and Mason Steir. Along with offensive product, Interlake will need to improve on its defensive play.
In 2017 the Saints finished next to last in fielding percentage .912, only Sammamish had a worse clip of .866. If Interlake wants to help its young pitching staff the defense has to do a better job of securing the ball, making routine plays and not giving opponents extra at-bats.
The pitching staff has couple pitchers returning with some experience. Nick Bentsen logged 26IP, Mason Stier checked in with 19IP, Brock with 10IP and Klein picked up 9IP. So there are some arms with varsity experience toeing the rubber in 2018. Look for sophomore Josh Emanuels to also be in the mix. Getting confidence early will be key for this group of arms.
One great thing to look at is the non-conference schedule the Saints have in 2018. Three are winnable games. Garfield, Archbishop Murphy and Lakeside will the tough tests, but Kennedy Catholic, Chief Sealth & Shorecrest should be good opportunities to get Ws.
With regards to conference play, the top of the league will be tough sledding for the Saints. They will get a crash course early as the Saints open the season against MI & LW. However, the rest of league schedule as a number of winnable games.
Playing close to .500 would be a huge step for Saints and their young core. But then again to rise above 5 conference wins they Saints will have to steal a game or two. So we will see if Crossroads 9 can build some momentum to get it done!