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Vikings ready to rise to the Kingco challenge | Inglemoor baseball preview
Tyler Beahan doesn’t mind the pressure of playing in the tough 4A Kingco baseball league.
The Inglemoor High senior rose from the junior-varsity ranks last year to help the varsity club notch a 15-9 record and fall just short of making the state tournament.
When coach Bryan McNaghten brought the junior up to varsity for the fifth game because he was on a hitting hot streak, Beahan was ready.
“That motivated me quite a bit to strive harder,” said Beahan, who had played Little League with a lot of last year’s seniors. His hitting success continued and he started every game for the rest of the season. “It was a pretty big boost.”
And when this year rolled around, Beahan’s confidence level remained high and he was set to play some fast-paced Kingco ball again.
At press time, the Vikings were 3-3 in league and 5-4 overall, including three shutout wins over Ballard, 9-0, and a pair of nonleaguers against Shorewood, 1-0, and Monroe, 6-0.
“We’re learning. We’re a bit inexperienced, we’ve only got a couple returning starters, but they’re coming along,” said fifth-year Inglemoor coach McNaghten, adding that with some more games under their belt, the Vikings should do well this season.
Inglemoor surely hung tough with defending state champ Bothell on March 26, losing 4-3 in eight innings. McNaghten said it was a classic, hard-fought Inglemoor-Bothell game.
“It’s good for us to see the boys fight like that. Because that’s the way it’s going to be in the playoffs,” the coach said. “It’s who gets that little thing done at the end is who keeps playing. This is an incredible league, so it’s huge for us, anytime we can play games like that.”
Beahan, who went 3-for-4 with a double against Bothell, feels the hard work and intensity is coming on for Inglemoor.
Senior lefty Danny Larsen, who was an All-Seattle Premier League honoree with his FM Sports Lux team over the summer, is one of a handful of Vikings who will handle pitching duties this year. Other notables are seniors Blake Wilson, Lucas Wimmer and Ryan Caylor, along with Gavin Harris and Curtis Bafus.
Larsen, who fired a one-hitter against Ballard, said he’s influenced by Obie Taylor from last year’s team: hit your spots, throw low, get guys out.
“I don’t usually beat guys with my speed, so I just try and make them hit the ball. I don’t walk a lot of guys, so I just let my defense do all the work,” said Larsen, who’s been pitching since he was young, but has hit his stride the last two years.
The seniors have become leaders this year after modeling themselves after last year’s older guys, Larsen said.
And Beahan knows how to show teammates how it’s done from the plate by smashing a game-tying hit against Bothell in the sixth inning.
“I like those kinds of situations a lot,” he said. “They put a lot of pressure on you, but when you deliver, it’s a good feeling.”
The Vikings played a road game against Newport late Thursday afternoon, after the Reporter’s deadline.
They also play Kennedy Catholic tomorrow at home in a nonleague exhibition game, with first pitch coming at 2 p.m.
Inglemoor junior Josh Seefeld is one of the team's hottest hitters in the early going, batting a red-hot .429 (6-for-14). He has also shown patience at the plate, drawing six walks in 20 plate appearances. Photo by Tim Watanabe, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter