Walker Orenstein
West Seattle ballplayers warm up with throwing drills.

SLIDESHOW: Bouncing back; West Seattle baseball tries to recreate last year’s magic without familiar faces

By Walker Orenstein

West Seattle is facing a reloading test more difficult than usual this year.

After losing Sam Helliger to graduation -- the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association and Class 3A state player of the year -- West Seattle is going to have some trouble staying on top.

Hellinger was a lockdown pitcher while also hitting .416 in May 2013 when he was named to The Seattle Times all-area team. The unanimous Metro League MVP pitched a complete game with no earned runs against Mount Si last season to send the Wildcats to the state championship game for the first time in school history.

The Wildcats lost the championship, finishing second in state, but Hellinger was drafted in round 39 by the Mariners last year.

“Sam earned everything he got because he worked so hard,” said West Seattle coach Velko Vitalich. Vitalich has coached the Wildcats for 27 years and was named coach of the year by the Northwest Baseball Umpires Association in 2012.

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SLIDESHOW: Seattle Lutheran rallies past SCS

By Tim Clinton

Seattle Lutheran scored 11 runs in the top of the seventh inning Saturday to turn a close 4-3 baseball game against Seattle Christian into a 15-3 rout.

The Saints of West Seattle improved their overall record to 8-1 with the non-league win under sunny skies as the Warriors of SeaTac fell to 7-2.

"I thought it was just a total team effort," said Seattle Lutheran head coach David Sleighter. "The guys all hit and we had guys give themselves up for bunts and it all added up."

Everything added up the best for Saints freshman J.J. Young, who blasted five doubles in five at-bats and also threw the first four innings for the win on the mound.

Young struck out seven and left when his team had the 4-3 lead.

"J.J. played spectacular," said Sleighter. "He's just a freshman, and that guy can hit and he pitched good, too."
Young was pleased as he left the Seattle Christian diamond.

"I kind of hit the ball and didn't think about anything," he said.

SCS head coach Chris Fox was not overly disappointed with the loss.

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Sports Roundup 4-15-14

Friday, April 11
West Seattle 5, Nathan Hale 0
Jake Magera threw a three-hit shutout for the Wildcats on Friday, striking out seven and walking only one in earning the win.
Larry Jensen hit 2-for-3 with one double and one run scored and Morgan McCullough hit 2-for-4 with one RBI, one run and one double.

Boys soccer
Chief Sealth 5, Rainier Beach 1
Yael Pina racked up one goal and three assists to lead Chief Sealth to a 5-1 victory over Rainier Beach this past Friday.
Devin Oxford added one goal and one assist for the Seahawks.
Oxford scored the first goal in the 14th minute on a Pina assist, then Pina struck unassisted for a goal in the 44th.
Luis Medina scored the next goal on a Pina assist and Abdallah Abo knocked in Oxford's assist in the 62nd minute.
Aldan McMurray capped off the Wildcats' scoring in the 68th minute on Pina's third assist of the afternoon.

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