Category Archives: baseball

Record Number of Scouts at NWAC Baseball Showcase at Bellevue College

79 college coaches and pro scouts converged at Bellevue College’s Courter Field for the NWAC Showcase. It was one of the largest showings of attendance in the event that puts NWAC baseball on the map at the national level, as college coaches came from across the country to see some of the top prospects in the NWAC.

Also of noteworthy interest was that there were more NCAA Division I schools represented at the showcase than all other levels (NCAA division II, division III, NAIA) combined. Nearly every major league baseball organization was also on hand, with several clubs having two scouts in attendance. Special thanks to the Pacific Northwest Professional Baseball Scouts Association for donating equipment and giving a welcome greeting to all participants.

Lane Community College’s pitching duo of Kyle Keith and Austin Crowson started off the showcase in highlight fashion, with Keith throwing 90 mph right out of the gate. Crowson, a left-hander, sat in the 88-91 mph range during his outing.

Other top arms included Pierce’s Leif Strom, who sat at the 90 mph range.  Edmonds’ Jimmy Boyce, Tacoma’s Garrett Westberg, Clark’s Grant Fisher and Jacob Albee, and a pair of Lower Columbia arms in Christian Parson and Taylor Davis were all in the upper 80 mph range. Treasure Valley’s Tanner Cantwell, a lefty, also pitched well in the 85-88 mph range.

Top position players included Taylor Adams of Tacoma who ran a 6.6 60 and displayed power, along with Bryce Steckler of Everett who also ran a 6.6 60. Shoreline’s Kory Longaker had the top arm among position players throwing 91 mph from right field while Bellevue’s Austin Pinorini had the best pop time of all catchers at 1.90. Pinorini also ran a 6.8 60 and collected three hits in his three at-bats in the live portion.

Former Treasure Valley baseball head coach Aaron Sutton now at Montana State Billings

After five successful seasons in charge of the Treasure Valley Community College (Ore.) baseball team, Aaron Sutton has been selected as the next head baseball coach at Montana State University Billings.

The hire was announced by the MSUB athletic department on Monday.

Sutton, a three-time Northwest Athletic Conference East Region Coach of the Year, piloted the Chukars to conference titles in 2013 through 2015, and posted an overall record of 139-61 dating back to his first year in 2012.

“We are thrilled to introduce Aaron Sutton as the next head baseball coach at MSUB, and are excited for the program’s positive momentum to continue under his leadership,” said Yellowjacket director of athletics Krista Montague. “Aaron has displayed a track record of success, and is a proven coach who will carry on the high level of achievement our baseball program has shown on the field and academically.”

A native of Fruitland, Idaho, Sutton will assume his new duties beginning Sept. 12.

Sutton takes over for six-year MSUB coach Rob Bishop, who accepted the head baseball coaching position at NCAA Division I South Dakota State on Aug. 1. Under Bishop’s guidance, MSUB won back-to-back GNAC regular-season championships in 2015 and 2016, and posted the first two winning seasons since the program was reinstated in 2006 with a combined mark of 57-43 the last two seasons. The team was also a three-time GNAC academic champion in baseball, holding a collective grade point average north of 3.0 since 2014.

“My family and I are very excited to be joining the Yellowjacket family,” Sutton said. “From day one we could really feel the support and direction of the athletic department from Krista and her team. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to make the jump to the next level, and to work on continuing the success that coach Bishop started here.”

Under Sutton’s leadership at TVCC, 90 percent of his sophomore student-athletes earned their associate’s degree and 50 total students continued on to four-year universities. Prior to his tenure as head coach, Sutton was the assistant coach at TVCC from 2008-2012, where he was in charge of recruiting and fundraising, and held other responsibilities within the team.

A former baseball player in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Sutton earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Oregon University in 2008 after first attending TVCC as a student. Sutton was a two-year starting infielder and first-team all-GNAC selection at WOU, helping the Wolves to back-to-back conference titles in 2006-07. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in physical education and administration from Idaho State University in 2012.

Sutton coached former Yellowjacket catcher Trevor Nix for two seasons at TVCC, before Nix went on to earn first-team all-GNAC honors as a member of MSUB’s first conference title team in 2015. Nix is one of many TVCC players who have gone on to attain success in the GNAC after beginning their college careers in Sutton’s program.

“I’d like to extend a thank you to the search committee, which worked together to find the best fit for our program from an extremely deep and talented pool of applicants,” Montague said. “We are confident that with Aaron’s expertise recruiting in the Pacific Northwest, his knowledge of the GNAC, and ability to develop student-athletes into high-caliber players and young men of character, he will hit the ground running as he joins the Yellowjacket family.”

Treasure Valley appoints Dave Nakama to skipper baseball program

New head coach for the Chukars Baseball team is Dave Nakama. Coach Nakama comes to TVCC with over 30 years of collegiate coaching.

Coach Naks, received his bachelors from Willamette University in Salem, and later moved on to University of Northern Colorado to finish his Masters in PE Teaching. Coach Naks started his collegiate coaching as an assistant at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ. He later became the head coach at Mission College in Santa Clara, CA.

In 1996, coach Naks became an assistant coach at Stanford, and after two years, took the head coaching job at San Francisco State University. After three years at SFSU, coach Naks went back to Stanford, as an assistant for another 8 years.

In 2009, Nakama moved on to the University of Washington as an assistant coach, and in 2012, coach Naks took the head coaching job at San Jose State Univ in the Mountain West Conference.

“Coach Naks will be a great fit for our baseball program, which is rich in tradition and success, on and off the field,” commented Director of Athletics, Ed Aronson. “Coach Nakama’s coaching philosophy is a great fit for the community college lever, striving to mentor, teach, and prepare young student athletes for the transition to four-year institutions and for “life after baseball,” added Aronson.

Coach Nakama has three children and now resides in Ontario.

NWAC Fall Baseball Showcase – Bellevue College September 24

view of Bellevue baseball field at dusk

Bellevue College baseball will host the NWAC Showcase on Saturday September 24. The one-day event will begin at approximately 9:30 AM at Courter Field. In case of rain, Sunday September 25 is being held as a make up date.

Each region’s top 16 position players and 12 pitchers will come together in the all-day event. Due to constant revisions in roster formation, rosters will not be available until the week of the event.

For recruiters traveling to the Seattle area, a string of recruiting events conveniently located within close proximity of each other has been put together leading up to the NWAC showcase. Below is a comprehensive schedule of events that week:

Thursday, September 22
Tacoma CC Scout Day at Tacoma CC 3:00 PM
Bellevue Scout Day at Bellevue College 8:00 PM (under lights). (food provided for all pro scouts and four-year coaches)

Friday, September 23
Bellevue at Edmonds scrimmage. 5:15 PM (no batting practice beforehand)

Saturday, September 24
NWAC Showcase at Bellevue College. View Showcase Schedule

Any inquiries can be directed to Mark Yoshino, Bellevue College baseball coach at mark.yoshino@bellevuecollege.edu

NWAC announces partnership with Under Armour

Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) office is proud to announce that it has reached a multi-year agreement with Under Armour that makes Under Armour the official apparel partner of NWAC championship events.  Under Armour has a successful history working with athletic organizations and teams by providing student-athletes with the best performance apparel.  Also as part of the agreement, Under Armour will sponsor the NWAC Athlete of the Week and NWAC Coaches Polls.

According to Marco Azurdia, NWAC Executive Director, “The NWAC is thrilled about this partnership with Under Armour and it has been something that we have been dreaming about for years.”  To be a partner with the company that values, our student-athletes and their aspirations is huge!  The opportunities this provides for our athletic teams will benefit their athletic programs, student-athletes and the conference.    Under Armour has been great to work with during this process.” 

NWAC will be working with Prostock Athletic Supply who is an official supplier of UA products.  Eric Ericsson, of Prostock Athletics commented, “Prostock Athletics has been servicing the athletic industry in the Pacific Northwest and Canada since 1982 with experienced and service oriented staff.  We look forward to working with the NWAC office and league schools in partnerships with Under Armour.  It’s a great opportunity to provide an exciting performance brand to the NWAC, student-athletes, and institutions in the coming years.”

Job announcement: Assistant Baseball Coach – Dakota State University

Dakota State University is seeking candidates for an Assistant Men’s Baseball Coach. This is a ten-month, benefit eligible position. The purpose of this position is to support and enhance the Men’s Baseball program.

Duties as the Assistant Men’s Baseball Coach will include but are not limited to recruiting, fund-raising, pre-season conditioning and weight training, practice and game coaching and monitoring the academic progress of the team and individual student-athletes. Additional administrative and compliance duties include maintenance of the Baseball website and working as a liaison with the Admissions Office to coordinate student visits on campus.  

The incumbent for this position must have the ability, technical skills, and proven knowledge to work with elite collegiate athletes. Good organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills (both oral and written) are necessary. Previous coaching and recruiting experience in a relevant sport is a plus as well as knowledge of NAIA rules. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Dakota State University competes in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) of the NAIA. DSU currently offers 10 sports; 5 for men and 5 for women. DSU is located in Madison, South Dakota, in the southern lakes region of the state. The Madison area offers a healthy community, excellent schools and abundant recreational activities. Information regarding Dakota State University and its programs may be found at www.dsu.edu.

DSU only accepts applications through an on-line employment site. To apply, visit https://yourfuture.sdbor.edu . The employment site allows the attachment of a cover letter, resume and supporting references to include address and telephone numbers of at least three references. For questions concerning the position, contact scott.hortness@dsu.edu. Review of applicants will begin immediately and continue until position is filled. Dakota State University is committed to recruitment, hiring and retention of minorities. We urge individuals from underrepresented groups and recent graduates to apply. Applicants with disabilities are invited to identify any necessary accommodations required in the application process. EOE.

Job announcement: Assistant Athletic Director – Clark College

Clark College is currently accepting applications for a full-time, exempt Assistant Athletic Director. Under the supervision of the Athletic Director, this full position will oversee aspects of compliance and eligibility within the athletic department and with the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) policies and regulations, as well as game-day operations and website management.

Clark College is an equal opportunity employer. Protected group members are strongly encouraged to apply.  Clark College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, creed, disabled veteran status, marital status or Vietnam-era veteran status in its programs and activities. The college considers equal opportunity, affirmative action, and non-discrimination to be fundamental to the mission, goals, and objectives of the college. All faculty and staff hired at Clark College are encouraged to embrace, continually support and enhance diversity and equity on our campus and in our community. Questions regarding the College’s Affirmative Action Policy may be directed to the Director of Human Resources, (360) 992-2105.

View full job description and application process

NWAC supports Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Prject logo

For the past five years the Northwest Athletic Conference has made a a community service project for their student-athletes an integral part of NWAC Championship Events.  These efforts support the conference’s endeavor to educate student-athletes on the importance of giving rather than receiving, to give more than what is expected, and helping others helps all. 

Over the years NWAC student-athletes have provided clothes, shoes, hygiene products, backpacks, fleece blankets, canned foods, and so much more.  By partnering with non-profit organizations in the cities that host NWAC championship events, NWAC student-athletes have provided some relief to those in need.

As the Northwest Athletic Conference continues in its service to use athletics as a way to support others, the NWAC is proud and honored to announce that at each 2016-2017 championship event, along with donating items to the community, NWAC will support Wounded Warrior Project and honor a veteran and his/her family. 

The honored veteran will take part in championship ceremonies and will serve as a guest at the championship events.  NWAC Executive Director, Marco Azurdia states, “Working with Wounded Warrior Project allows our student-athletes the chance to honor a veteran for his/her service which is a great lessoned to be learned and provides the veteran an opportunity to enjoy our student-athletes.”

NWAC and eTeamSponsor announce partnership

eTeamSponsor logo

Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) office is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with eTeamSponsor (ETS) that makes ETS the Official Fundraising Partner of the NWAC for the next three years. eTeamSponsor has a successful history working with athletic organizations, sport teams, and businesses raising money to support athletics.  To date, ETS has raised over $22,000,000 for their partners. 

According to Marco Azurdia, NWAC Executive Director, “The NWAC is excited about this partnership with ETS and it has been something we have been working toward for the past 14 months.  The skill, efficiency, and effectiveness that ETS provides can only benefit our institutions athletic programs, and ease the burden of fundraising for athletic directors and coaches.  They have been great to work with during this process.” 

“We are honored and proud to be chosen as the official fundraising partner of the NWAC,” says CEO Sean Connors.  “Having been administrators and coaches we understand the importance of successful fundraising and the challenges community colleges are facing. We take great pride in having raised over $3,500,000 for community college athletic programs and are committed to delivering best-in-class technology & campaign execution processes to NWAC member institutions for years to come.”

Since 2010 eTeamSponsor (eTS) has partnered with institutions to provide an automated crowdfunding solution that’s raised millions of dollars nationwide. They’ve been hailed as the missing piece for successful fundraising and complete transparency, connecting athletic department fundraising with advancement personnel.  Having pioneered automated crowdfunding for athletic programs at 2-year colleges, eTS aims to provide the most efficient and effective platform to meet the transparent needs of fundraising decision makers before, during and after their fundraising process.  Ultimately eliminating the inefficiencies, personal liability and financial risk of fundraising for good. eTS is committed to staying at the forefront of innovative technology and unparalleled client service to insure institutions reach their fundraising goals.

Brent Wyatt takes reins of CBC Baseball – Boruff moves to Tulane University

Brent Wyatt enters his first year as Head Coach of the Columbia Basin College baseball program.  Wyatt replaces Gabe Boruff, who resigned his position with CBC to accept a coaching position at Tulane University.

A 2003 Ellensburg High School graduate, Wyatt was named Mid-Valley League Most Valuable Player as a senior.  Wyatt took his talents to East Region rival Wenatchee Valley College, playing for Coach Boruff as a sophomore, where he was named to the All-Conference Team.

As an East Region All-Star, Wyatt accepted a scholarship to NAIA baseball powerhouse Lewis-Clark State College.  Playing for Hall of Fame Head Coach Ed Cheff, Wyatt played on two National Championship teams in 2007 and 2008.

Following his time at LCSC, Wyatt was drafted by the Detroit Tigers at the conclusion of his senior campaign. Wyatt played professionally through 2012, reaching AA in the organization.

Upon the close of his time in professional baseball, Wyatt began coaching immediately, returning first to his roots at EHS, before spending the next two seasons at Madison High School in Rexburg, Idaho.

CBC Athletic Director Scott Rogers is excited about the transition saying "I’m happy about the professional opportunity Coach Boruff is moving into.  Moving to the D1 level is what he wanted to do when he started at CBC, so we’re excited the opportunity presented itself so quickly.   We’re also excited for Coach Wyatt and the opportunity he’s earned.  It’s not often a program can transition and replace one dynamic coach with another.  We look forward to seeing where Coach Wyatt can take us."