The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

Trojans secure first-round win, advance to face Linn-Benton

Sam Whitney
Queen got the winning decision on Thursday, building on his 8-1 regular season record.

Facing Blue Mountain to open their half of the NWAC championship bracket, the Trojans looked no different than they did in the regular season.

That is to say, they leaned heavily on their pitching and counted on a breakthrough inning from the offense later in the game.

Freshman Wyatt Queen took the mound for the Trojans and worked a scoreless top of the first, striking out the first batter he faced.

For Queen, getting the nod in game one took on extra meaning.

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“Just being a freshman, coming in, I wanted to play for the sophomores that don’t have a spot yet at a college for next year,” Queen said. “I wanted to play for them and put them on my back. It was special.”

Everett catcher Nate Davis led off the bottom of the first with a sharp single into right field, but the Trojans weren’t able to get anything else going.

Blue Mountain opened the scoring in the second after the leadoff batter reached on an error, but Queen held them to just one run.

With the score still 1-0, Blue Mountain was threatening for more in the top of the fourth when something unique to the postseason happened.

With runners on first and second with one out, Queen spun and threw to second, and the runner was called safe. Then shortstop Axel Puls put a hand over each ear, miming wearing headphones. The Trojans wanted to send the play to replay review.

After about 90 seconds of review, the call on the field was overturned, the runner was out, and Queen finished off another scoreless frame one batter later.

Though the Trojans’ leadoff batter reached base in both the fourth and fifth innings, they were turned away without managing anything more each time.

Queen continued on, working through the sixth inning and maintaining the 1-0 deficit.

In the bottom of the sixth, the offense finally strung some baserunners together. Following a leadoff infield single from first baseman Jonah Shull, the bases were loaded with one out three batters later.

Finally, they broke through. Freshman second baseman Micah Coleman stuck to his usual approach and drove a single up the middle to tie the game at one.

“Same as always,” Coleman said. “Just looking to attack, looking to do damage.”

Then, an unlikely contributor stepped to the plate. Baylor Hill wasn’t in the starting lineup, having taken over in left field for Cooper McBride after he slid awkwardly into second base the previous inning.

Hill doubled his RBI total with one swing on Thursday after collecting only two during the regular season. (Sam Whitney)

With two outs and the bases loaded, the freshman delivered what the team affectionately refers to as a “Baylor Special.”

“In the fall and winter, I got a lot of unorthodox base hits, so people started calling it the ‘Baylor Special,’” Hill said. “I had a rough regular season and I was kinda down… but it just felt so good to come through for the team.”


No matter who it is that comes through, late-game heroics are nothing new for the Trojans lineup.

“The makeup of this team is to wait to get punched and punch back,” said Head Coach Keith Hessler. “That’s just who we are, that’s how we play, and we don’t quit.”

Now with a 3-1 lead, Hessler turned the game over to right hander AJ Hendrickson.

The freshman dealt three perfect innings, securing a first-round win for the Trojans and preserving the rest of the bullpen, which will be key in the tournament’s one-game-a-day format.

“Any time I can get a bullpen guy to come in and eat three innings that’s big,” Hessler said. “I had all the confidence in AJ, and he showed why.”

The Trojans will next take the field Friday night at 7:35, facing the reigning NWAC champion Linn-Benton Roadrunners.

Regardless of their opponent, the team’s approach won’t change.

“We don’t care who, we don’t care how, ugly, clean, just find a way to win,” Hessler said. “The first two games are huge. If we can get through those and set ourselves up with our bullpen, we have a shot to make a deep run.”

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About the Contributor
Sam Whitney
Sam Whitney, Managing Editor of Content
What is your dream job? My ultimate dream job would be to work as an analytical sportswriter for or FanGraphs, breaking down aspects of baseball and sharing my passion for the game with others. It would also be awesome if I could somehow work my way into a front office job with an MLB organization. When you aren't doing things for the Clipper, what can you be found doing? Away from the Clipper, I can often be found reading or watching anything baseball-related that I can find. Otherwise, I might be spending time with friends, playing with my dog Cashmere, or reading about history. And sleeping. Lots of sleeping. Which historical or fictitious figure do you most identify with?  The fictitious figure I like to identify with is Steve Harrington from Stranger Things. I may not always be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I have my moments, and I'm protective of those I care about and I'm there for them when it counts.

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    Tim WhitneyMay 24, 2024 at 7:22 pm

    Great win. Great story