NWAC South Region: 2018 Preview

Chemeketa Community College – Salem, OR

Head Coach Nathan Pratt (9 years)
Assistants JJ Mascolo, Dillon Keene, Blake Woosley
Affiliation NWAC
Conference South Region
Website https://www.chemeketa.edu/athletics/baseball/
2017 Record 27-21 overall, 11-13 (4th in conference)
Top Returning Players Brody Whitman, Sophomore, OF
Junior Perez, Sophomore, INF
Ky Sturgeon, Sophomore, RHP, (4.07 ERA, 13 starts)
Top New Players Robby Ahlstrom, LHP, North Eugene HS (OR)
Justin Culpepper, 3B, Sprague HS (OR)
Head Coach Commentary “We have a good young group with key sophomores at important positions. We will need to grow up fast and adapt to college baseball to compete in the NWAC South.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Pratt begins his 10th year at the helm of the Storm. It will take the quick development of young players to return to the NWAC Tournament. Pratt has guided them there in 2016, 2012, and 2010 when they finished their highest at 3rd. Nate was a former Associate Head Coach and player at rival Lane Community College before coming to Chemeketa. Former assistant coach JJ Mascolo returns from Fresno State as Co-Head Coach.

Clackamas Community College – Oregon City, OR

Head Coach Jim Hoppel (4 years)
Assistants Jeff Lahti, Jackson Gillett, Corey Rooper
Affiliation NWAC
Conference South Region
Website http://www.clackamas.edu/
2017 Record 14-27 overall, 7-17 (7th in conference)
Top Returning Players Tyler Parker, Sophomore, OF, All League (.272, 6 HR, 24 RBI)
Renner Stecki, Sophomore, RHP/3B, Gold Glove (4.22 ERA, 5 wins)
Brayden Bafaro, Sophomore, C, 2nd Team All League (.374, 18 RBI)
Berry Hunt, Sophomore, 2B/RHP
Cody Gleason, Sophomore, C
Top New Players Grant Horwitz, Sophomore, C/OF, San Diego State
Tyler Oscarson, Sophomore, RHP/SS/OF, Mesa CC
Mason Schimmel, Freshman, LHP, Rainier HS (OR)
Ryan Howe, Freshman, 3B/RHP, West Linn HS (OR)
Head Coach Commentary “Really good sophomore class this year. Started all freshmen last year and returning all starters. Pitching staff was questionable after losing our top 3 but have new guys and guys that will step in and get the job done this year. Looking to make a playoff run and see if we can get to the NWAC Championship this year.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Hoppel is a 14 year former assistant and player for the Cougars. A playoff run may be in the works with all 8 position players returning.

Clark College – Vancouver, WA

Head Coach Mark Magdaleno (2 years)
Assistants Adam Geaslen, Anthony Murillo, Casey Dyer, Mick Ellett, Red Washington
Affiliation NWAC
Conference South Region
Website clarkpenguins.com
2017 Record  20-19 overall, 10-14 (5th in conference)
Top Returning Players Brady Johnson, Sophomore, 1B
Nathaniel Affonso, Sophomore, C, 1st Team All-NWAC South Region (.294, 22 RBI)
CJ Clark, Sophomore, OF
Bryce Roesch, Sophomore, OF (.286)
Top New Players Kahlil Rivera, Sophomore, RHP, Salt Lake City College
Jordan Sunitch, Sophomore, LHP, Feather River College
Chaz Lopez, Sophomore, Pacific Lutheran University
Matt Olstead, Sophomore, LHP, Edmonds CC
Head Coach Commentary “We will play hard.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Magadaleno is the former associate head coach for the Penguins; he has over 30 years experience as a high school head coach and college assistant coach. The returning offense and the new pitching could provide the spark to be competitive in the NWAC South. Brady Johnson and Nathaniel Affonso have signed with Hawaii Pacific University and CJ Clark with Louisiana State-Shreveport.

Lane Community College – Eugene, OR

Head Coach Josh Blunt (7th year)
Assistants Zack Kayser, Johnny Farrington
Affiliation NWAC
Conference South Region
Website https://www.lanetitans.com/baseball/
2017 Record 28-21 overall, 17-7 (2nd in conference)
Top Returning Players Colton Sakamoto, Sophomore, OF, 1st Team All-League (.287, 9 SB)
Bryce Mulcahy, Sophomore, UTL, 1st Team All-League (.254, 20 RBI,  1.98 ERA, 9 saves)
Jesse Davis, Sophomore, RHP, 1st Team All-League (1.81 ERA, 4 wins, 59IP)
Hank Forrest, Sophomore, OF, 1st Team All-League
Top New Players Jackson Soto, Sophomore, 1B, Oregon State University
Dillon Larsen, Sophomore, LHP, Central Washington University
Cade Kissel, Freshman, SS, Hidden Valley HS (OR)
Tielar Murray, Sophomore,OF, Southwestern Oregon CC
Head Coach Commentary “We return 8 starting position players on a team that finished 3rd in the NWAC Championships in 2017 and also added 2 significant contributors in the field with Jackson Soto and Tielar Murray.  Although we did lose some valuable sophomore arms, we did have 3 early DI signees on the mound in the fall (Jesse Davis – U of W, Dillon Larsen – U of W, Bryce Mulcahy – Virginia Tech).  With the returning experience in the field and the quality of starting pitchers, we do expect to make a run at it again this year.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Blunt has led the Titans to playoffs the last four seasons and two 3rd place finishes at the NWAC Tournament. The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has Lane ranked 4th in the pre-season. Pitchers Kyle Keith (Texas Rangers), and Austin Crowson (New York Yankees) were drafted in 2017 but did not sign. The following players committed to 4 year programs during the early signing period: Jesse Davis (University of Washington), Bryce Mulcahy (Virgina Tech), RHP Dillon Larsen (Central Washington), and INF Jayden Hanna (Western Oregon).

Linn-Benton Community College – Albany, OR

Head Coach Ryan Gipson (4th year)
Assistants Michael Takamori, Steven Dennison, Youngjin Yoon, Andy Peterson, Don Lien
Affiliation NWAC
Conference South Region
Website http://www.nwacsports.org/baseball/
2017 Record 30-12 overall, 19-5 (1st in conference)
Top Returning Players Trevor Wells, Sophomore, RHP, 1st Team All South Region, 1st Team All NWAC, 3rd Team ABCA/Rawlings All-American (0.94 ERA, 11 saves)
Josh Congdon, Sophomore, INF, 1st Team All South Region, 2nd Team All NWAC (.346 avg)
Damon Peters, Sophomore, 3B, 1st Team All South Region (.311, 32 RBI)
Brennan Lauffenburger, Sophomore, RHP (0.86 ERA, 31 innings, 2 wins)
Top New Players Cole Hamilton, Freshman, C, Western Oregon University
Brock Townsend, Freshman, RHP, Churchill HS (OR)
Tristan Garnett, Freshman, LHP, Oregon State University
Kevin Reilly, Freshman, LHP, Clackamas HS (OR)
Head Coach Commentary “Expectations are high for this group. To get to the NWAC championship last year and fall short has given our returners a lot to work for. This club has depth in the infield, catching position, and pitching staff.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Gipson has the Roadrunners coming off a strong year with their league championship and a berth in the NWAC tournament. The program was reinstated in 2015 which was “Gibby’s” first year leading LBCC. Many Northwest baseball people know him from being a key member of Oregon State’s first National Championship in 2006. The depth and experience of the LBCC 2018 team has heightened expectations. A new artificial turf infield will help prepare the Roadrunners early and provide early season home games. LBCC was voted 9th in the NWAC pre-season poll.

Mt. Hood Community College – Gresham, OR

Head Coach Bryan Donohue (11th year)
Assistants Mike Meyer, Brent Johnson, Brian Burres
Affiliation NWAC
Conference South Region
Website https://www.mhcc.edu/Baseball/
2017 Record 18-25 overall, 12-13 (3rd place in conference)
Top Returning Players Hunter Bruno, Sophomore, RHP (2.75 ERA in 12 appearances)
Jason Garcia, Sophomore, OF (.261)
Chris Stone, Sophomore, RHP (3.44, 47IP)
Sam Menegat, Sophomore, LHP (6.41 ERA, 33 innings, 40 K’s)
Top New Players Matt Land, Freshman, INF, Sheldon HS (OR)
Trevor Swartz, Freshman, RHP/OF, Evergreen HS (WA)
Kevin Miser, Freshman, 3B, Ridgefield HS (WA)
Dylan Dudley, Freshman, 1B/RHP, Sheldon HS (OR)
Head Coach Commentary “With solid sophomore leadership from a core group of guys that saw significant time last year, this year’s club will have good depth on both sides of the ball. A strong freshman group will bring some added offense to the lineup along with some key pieces to our pitching staff. This team has a chance to be a very good defensive team due to our overall athleticism at all positions.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Donahue has continued a strong Mt. Hood tradition of success. The Saints have been to the NWAC tournament 8 of 10 years under the former BBNW player’s leadership. He is closing in on his 300th win as a head coach. The Gresham-native is the 3rd longest tenured NWAC coach.

Southwestern Oregon Community College – Coos Bay, OR

Head Coach Dave Deutschman (2nd year)
Assistants Mike Bennett, Gunnar Pancheri
Affiliation NWAC
Conference South Region
Website swoccathletics.com
2017 Record 15-31 overall, 8-16 (5th in conference)
Top Returning Players Will Shaw, Sophomore, RHP (3.90. 10 starts, 60 IP)
Top New Players Conner Larson, Freshman, UTL, Borah HS (ID)
Ryan Merino, Freshman, SS, Palo Verde HS (NV)
Chandler Kochan, Freshman, C, Palo Verde HS (NV)
Riley Quinton, Freshman, 3B, Arch Bishop Murphy HS (WA)
Head Coach Commentary “We are extremely excited to continue moving the program in the right direction. Our record from the previous year does not reflect the strides that this program has made in recent months. We have flipped the program over, and have a great group of student athletes that are eager to better themselves in all aspects of life. We have some depth this year, which has increased the competitiveness at all positions. The effect of this has contributed to strong team chemistry and has built trust from within.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Deutschman has his 1st recruiting class ready to go to move up in the tough NWAC South Region. The Lakers are ready to compete with many new players and an improved approach.