Selah Baseball Seeking Back-to-Back State Titles
Nate Gutierrez P/OF - Gutierrez played his first season with Selah last year, and he burst onto the scene in a big way. Whether it’d be at the plate, in the field, or on the mound, Gutierrez was a total star. He’ll be counted on this year for MVP level production.
Wyatt Berriman P/OF - Berriman showed flashes of potential last year as a junior, but he was still very much fine-tuning all parts of his game. Now in his senior year, the Selah coaching staff is hoping that Berriman can reach all-star level status.
Chase Ergeson IF/OF - Ergeson fits the prototype of a scrappy ballplayer. He’s all about consistently getting on base, and playing mistake-free defense. Last year he hit .288. With many moving parts around him, Ergeson is a plug n’ play type of guy.
This past season of Selah Baseball might be viewed by outsiders as something of a ‘dream season.’ They went 24-2, outscored opponents 212-38, and would end their season hoisting the 2A State Championship trophy.
But dream season is the last way those in the Selah clubhouse would describe it. For this program, it was simply business as usual.
The Selah Baseball program has earned a reputation of excellence across the state, and there's very good reason for that. Over the past five years they’ve accumulated a stunning record of 113-10, and have taken home two state titles during that span.
Selah loses seven seniors from last year's team, but there is certainly no shortage of talent coming up in their ‘farm system.’
One of the biggest challenges Selah faces this year is how to replace two unfathomably productive aces. Last year the senior duo of Dylan Bishop and Payton Andreas combined for 85 ⅓ innings and just a 1.27 ERA.
A couple pitchers salivating to step up would be seniors Nate Gutierrez and Wyatt Berriman. They were productive in their own right last year, as they combined for 36 innings and a 1.00 ERA.
Berriman has an array of pitches in his arsenal, including a polished changeup and a ‘ched’ slider. Gutierrez is more location driven, and relies on his defense to get outs.
When those guys need a break, look for senior Alex Morford to make spots starts. Coming out of the bullpen will be a bevy of newcomers in guys like Caden Herbst, Teagan Mahre, Carter Seely.
Handling responsibilities behind the dish will be second year catcher Dean Pettyjohn. Outside of once again being a field general, Pettyjohn will become a regular in the lineup (he was DH’d for last year.)
There are a couple intriguing options at first base in seniors Caden Herbst and Alex Morford. Herbst was the DH last year, and hit .333 with 12 RBI. Morford found a home in the weight room this off-season, and looks ready to hit some bombs.
Lightly penciled in at second base is returning starter Chase Ergeson. He’s a candidate to play multiple spots, but will likely start the year at second.
The Vikings have a tough task of replacing Vanderbilt player Carter Young at shortstop, but they believe junior Andrew Benjamin can get it done.
A couple freshman worth noting is Grant Chapman and Carter Seely. The coaching staff is excited about their prospects, and they could find themselves earning reps in the infield sooner than later.
When Gutierrez and Berriman aren’t pitching, they’ll be holding down the corner outfield spots. When they are pitching, look for a utility guy Conner Dailey to take reps in the outfield.
After three year starting centerfielder Payton Andreas graduated, Selah is still looking at their options to patrol the extremely important centerfield spot.
It has to be noted that there is simply not as much talent here as last year's all-time stacked squad. Don’t be mistaken, there’s still plenty of star power on this year's roster, but their road to a state title is going to be more difficult. First they're going to have to overcome their own league, where rivals like Ellensburg and East Valley appear one again powerful. If Selah’s pitching staff performs as expected, another deep playoff should be in their cards.
WF West 3/27
East Valley 4/25