Pirate baseball wraps up an exciting run to state

The Vashon Pirates’ journey to State concluded this weekend with a hard-fought loss on the road against Seton Catholic.

The Vashon Pirates’ journey to State concluded this weekend with a hard-fought loss on the road against Seton Catholic.

The baseball team bus traveled down I-5 to Camas on May 17, filled with Pirates reeling from their latest, exciting wins, eager for the next adventure.

After a fun night of team camaraderie, they stepped on to the field at Camas High School the next morning to face the Seton Cougars, their first opponent in the 1A state tournament.

Finn Hawkins and Charlie Walker pitched for Vashon and were throwing well, but Seton Catholic’s bats here hot and the ball was finding green as they continued to add runs each inning.

“Seton is a very talented team,” said Coach Simon Perrin. “They executed a textbook hit-and-run twice. Hawk pitched his tail off, but they kept having quality at bats and fouling it off, while we struggled at the plate.”

The Pirates managed only two hits during the contest, by Chase Bradrick and Walker. The Cougars’ defense was impeccable juxtaposed to Vashon’s five errors on the day, which added to the lopsided score, and the game ended with a 10-0 loss for the Pirates.

“The 2016 team that won state had all been to state three years earlier as freshmen, who were also eliminated in the first round,” Perrin said. “So we knew the pressure and what to expect when we went back as seniors. It was the first time for this year’s team, they hadn’t seen it and that played a part in the outcome. But I was so excited they were able to go. They’ll remember that great run they had to get there much more than that one game at state.”

Even great rides must come to an end. The large group of fans who traveled down for the game stayed exuberant in their cheers and praise for the team that gritted their way into the state tournament as they walked off the field.

The players and coaches were disappointed, of course, and the seniors who now had played their last high school game were emotional, but their appreciation for one another and the amazing journey they had just shared was evident and will endure.

The Nisqually all-league honors were also announced. Finn Hawkins and Finn Magonegil were named to the first team. Jack Harvey and Charlie Walker were named the the second team and Will Frith received an honorable mention.

The Vashon Varsity Baseball team is built anew each season, as freshmen join and seniors depart. Each team is unique with its own personalities, skills and, of course, the nature of baseball that provides once-in-a-lifetime situations and plays.

These landmarks are like a river, that challenges with rapids and soothes with slack water. Players and fans, never knowing what’s around the next bend, build a love for the possibilities of both. And each new team is built off the previous year’s efforts and guidance of the coaches, the older students and the community.

There was an amazing example of this heritage and legacy on the very next day after the Seton Catholic game, when the current varsity baseball team joined the Vashon community in honoring the life of previous head coach Steve Hall, who passed earlier this spring. (See page 1 story.)

“We tell the boys, this is bigger than you think — there are people tracking what happens for the team that you don’t even know, and how cool it is that they are out there pulling for you,” Coach Perrin said. “It was a full circle moment that Steve’s team was the last to get to state, and now two of his players and his assistant coach Greg McElroy are coaching the next team to go.”

The 2024 Pirates’ season is over. But like all the ex-players they shared the field with on this day, the bond of their cleats walking across that same infield, outfield, and dugouts over all of those years showed them that their time on the team and what they gave to the program will live on.

Eric Frith is a parent of a Pirates baseball team member.