Last season, the Bellevue College baseball team lost the NW championship game by one run in the final inning to Seattle University by 7-3 despite having the chance to tie the game.
The team is now having their off season. They have played only scrimmages or practice games this fall in preparation for the next season.
The Bellevue College athletics website shows that “the four fall scrimmage games were played against Pierce [College], Tacoma [College], Edmonds [College] and, on Oct. 4, against Seattle University. The early wrap-up of outside opponents gave Bellevue their final week of practice before ending the fall season with the annual World Series. A best-of-three intrasquad was played Tuesday Oct. 7 through Thursday Oct. 9.”
The team recruited 19 players this year, due largely to the number of players that graduated from the team last year.
13 of the 14 sophomores on the team graduated with degrees, and one signed professionally. Out of the 13, 11 received scholarships to play at the university level.
Head coach Mark Yoshino says his strategy is to discover and groom new players every season. “My associate head coach Kevin Miller and I take pride in the individual coaching and development of the new freshmen each year,” Yoshino said.
One of the players that has developed through the ranks from freshman to sophomore is Alex Galgano, who missed the entire second half of last season due to a rare medical condition. Galago said it was tough missing the championship game but thinks the next season will be better.
“My expectation for this season is high,” Yoshino said. “Last season, it was a very difficult pill to swallow watching us be so close and not being able to play. We stand a very good chance of winning the NW next season.”
Coach Yoshino is confident his team will win the NW championship in the coming season. “We have a good chance as indicated by our history,” he said. “We have finished first, third, first, fifth, third and second in the last six years. No other college in the NW has had a consistent finishing at the top [like] us.”
The BC athletics website reports that “the squad was ranked nationally all season long in 2012 and was eighth nationally in June 2011 after capping off the year by winning the NWAC Championship with a 37-14 record. It was the team’s third title in the last five years (2007, 2009, 2011) after a long drought dating back to 1979.
In 2007, the team was ranked first in the NWAC top 8 Coaches’ Poll for most of the season. The squad also finished with a national ranking of 18th; putting Bellevue within the same group of other national powerhouses.”
The players often receive scholarships to four-year colleges and universities like they did last season with 11 of the 14 players that graduated last year receiving scholarships and one going pro.
Yoshino says his policy is to treat all his players the same way. He gives no preference to any of his players over the others. He believes all the players on his team are equal and demands the same level of responsibility from all of them.