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Lakeside Senior Legion baseball team hosting Brandy Pugh tourney, headed to postseason
Lakeside Recovery's Senior Legion baseball squad, which includes players from Newport, Issaquah and Skyline high schools, will host the Brandy Pugh Memorial Classic tournament at Bannerwood Park beginning July 9.
Coach Rob Reese's squad has qualified for the Senior Legion sub-regional tournament, and won two of its five games in the Curt Daniels Invitational in Vancouver, Wash. last weekend after finishing 4-2 in a wood bat tournament in California to finish June.
"The reason we play these tournaments is there is still competition to get us ready for the legion playoffs," he said. "When you play teams like that, it makes you better."
The two losses in the wood bat tournament came against a University of Southern California signee, and another squad with seven players slated for a Division I future on the diamond.
"Losing isn't great to do," Reese said. "But it is great to face that competition."
Skyline grad Drew Lunde had been a major part of a standout pitching staff for Lakeside before leaving the team to attend summer school at Washington State University.
But the rest of the roster is littered with capable arms, an important ingredient to a postseason run, especially with nine inning games, as opposed to seven played during the regular season and high school slate.
"All five of our starters have done good," Reese said. "They have got us deep into games, and when we needed it, our bullpen has been great."
Left handers AJ Block and Ryan Peart, along with 2015 grads Tyler Huling, Ryan Kingma and Todd Reese, have worked along with Jake Rosen and Alec Shimizu to put together a staff that allowed six runs or more only twice during the first 22 games of the season.
Mitchell Morimoto, a standout for Reese's Issaquah team during the prep season, and Jason Santiago have paced the offense.
A pair of losses in a double-header against Bellingham Post 7 denied Lakeside the chance to host a sub-regional, which begins July 19 with state tournament spots on the line.
"The first thing we have to do is make it to the big tournament," Reese said, referring to state. "The game changes when you get to that level."
Lakeside opens its final tuneup in the Brandy Pugh Memorial Classic against Bellevue Honda at 8 p.m. July 9 at Bannerwood. The tournament field also includes the Kennewick Bandits, Baden, Pac-Tech Construction and the Spokane Dodgers.