Bears Ready to Take the Diamond for 2018 Season

05/29/2018 4:47 PM -

Written By Broadcasting Team Members Mitch Vareldzis and Austin Grad


The Highline Bears 2018 season begins June 1, with the team hosting the North Sound Emeralds at Steve Cox Memorial Park at 7:05 p.m. Manager Josh Evans is excited for his new team to hit the diamond. Now in their fourth year as a member of the Pacific International Baseball League, Evans has a lot of good things to say about his players and coaching staff heading into the season. “We have a lot of good ball players this year, and we’re looking forward to start competing and bringing good baseball to the community,” Evans said. Joining Evans as assistant coach will be Gavin Hite, who brings a great wealth of knowledge in player development, as well as a 2013 National Championship under his belt. “I am really excited to help out,” Hite said. “I have used the driveline program for the past year and a half and am ready to use it for these boys to try and get them ready for the college season.” Evans has high hopes for this year’s squad, as he believes this team has “greatly improved at every position.” So much so, that coach isn’t guaranteeing playing time for anyone. “It’s going to be tough to make the lineup,” he said. “We have a lot of talented players, and guys that start off as utility players have a great chance to become everyday starters and vice versa.” Having several starters who are returning is partially responsible for the Bears improvement, as this helps with team chemistry, according to Evans. Outfielder Alex Bryner out of Olympic Community College headlines a short list of returning players eager to step out onto the field this summer. A few new teammates have also quickly caught the attention of Hite, who worked closely with Evans to bring them to the Bears. “We’re really excited for Carter Wallace out of Bellevue College,” Hite said. “He is going to be an absolute stud for us in the infield. We’re also really excited about Colton Robinson from Linfield. He’s a shortstop. He’s going to be another big guy for us.” Hite also added his excitement for the return of outfielder Grayson O’Neil, as well as pitchers Nick Horn and J.J. Asinas. The Bears manager has not put together his rotation, or even named his ace yet, but he does expect a lot of competition vowing for spots in the rotation. “All of the pitchers know that there has been nothing set in stone yet,” he said. The second-year manager is excited to see a lot of the young players perform, especially 1B/DH Bryce Beck. “Bryce [Beck] is a player that has a lot of power, and I’m excited to see how he can produce and maximize his bat this season.” Evans added that the team has a young core of catchers that he’s ready to watch play as well. Coach understands that his team is full of youth, and wants to best prepare them for their future. “My goal by the end of this season is to give these young guys the confidence and learning experience that it takes to be a part of a professional organization,” he said. “I want these players to get better and have fun,” Hite added. “Obviously we want guys to stay focused up and stay intense when we need them to be, but this is a great place for guys to come in, work on stuff, have a minor league atmosphere and really just come in and have fun.”