Kyler Schemstad is healthy again and Ernie Yake is happy as usual.
The Ferndale standout, having recovered following a long rehab for a shoulder injury, pitched four innings and had one of only six hits by Whatcom County players in the annual 16-inning Class 2A/3A feeder doubleheader at Joe Martin Stadium on Tuesday, May 31.
“I’m back to feeling 100 percent,” said Schemstad, who was recruited by Shoreline Community College. He batted regularly this season but pitched only enough to compile a 2-0 record.
The Whatcom County-filled Nationals lost 6-1 to the Americans from three southern counties in the first eight-inning exhibition. The second was a 0-0 tie in which Lynden’s Jordan Wittenberg had the National’s only hit, a two-out double in the last inning.
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Yake, who played for both teams in the doubleheader at shortstop, went 3 for 5 with two hard-hit outs, as befitting his .525 average for Squalicum. He won the Mal Walton Award as the top Whatcom performer and showed why he was recruited by Mesa (Ariz.) Community College.
“They play more games (than most CC teams) and I’m really excited,” Yake said. “I’m going there with (Sehome’s) Owen Wright. I went to Mesa for a tournament last fall with a Canadian team, and the coaches saw me there.”
FOUR WHATCOM SELECTIONS
The 10 nominees for consideration to play in the all-state games June 11-12 in Yakima included Yake, Wittenberg, Ferndale’s Kyle Sandstrom and Blaine’s Brenden Riddle. Others were Burlington-Edison’s Derek Cherryholmes, Anacortes’ Joe Brennan, Cedarcrest’s Cody Banks and Blaine Wagner, Lakewood’s Sam Linscott and Archbishop Murphy’s Austin Earl. Cedarcrest’s Ryan Tracy won the Al Evans Award for the top performance by player south of Whatcom.
A FRIENDLY PICKOFF
After Yake singled for the Americans off Squalicum teammate Ben Wolters in the second game, Wolters promptly picked Yake off second. Blaine’s Jon Starcer and Wolters each pitched four scoreless innings, combining to strand 13 runners with fine displays of pitching poise.
Lynden’s Anthony Garcia and Sandstrom each pitched four innings in the opener, in which Yake had two hits and Wittenberg, Schemstad and Squalicum’s JP Pacheaco had one hit each.
Lynden’s Dalton Ohligschlager threw out a runner at home with a perfect one-hopper to catcher Riddle. Wittenberg turned in several fielding gems at shortstop, including a crowd-pleasing throw from deep in the hole in the second game. Squalicum’s Will Nickelson made an equally fine play at second game when he knocked down a shot and recovered quickly enough to get the out.
Other locals who played were Sehome’s Cameron Tipton, Keaohi Grondin and Wright, Blaine’s Josh Fakkema and Squalicum’s Connor Sage.