Five Difference Makers
Photo courtesy Jennifer Eklund
Edmonds-Woodway pitcher Tate Budnick winds up during a recent game.
Nick Adams/ The Herald
Archbishop Murphy's Trever Morrison warms up before an at-bat during a recent game.
Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald
Marysville-Pilchuck pitcher Cody Anderson throws out a pitch in the first inning.
Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald
Glacier Peak's Branson Barnecut (right) looses his helmet as he slides safely into second base ahead of the tag of Mountlake Terrace's Chase Perez (left).
There hasn't really been a pitcher who has been able to stymie Archbishop Murphy's star shortstop. The Oregon State-bound Morrison is batting .615 this season with 43 runs scored, 22 RBI, 11 doubles and five home runs.
"He's an all-around player," said Archbishop Murphy head coach Stan Taloff. "He hits. He hits to all fields. He plays his position well, he's got a strong arm and amazing speed on the bases."
The senior also has 24 stolen bases, a .695 on-base percentage and a whopping 1.046 slugging percentage while helping lead the Wildcats to an 18-2 overall record and a Cascade Conference title.
"He's supplied some power as well as getting on base for us," Taloff said. "He can do a lot."
Sam Boone | Shorewood
Boone has been one of the top pitchers in Wesco this season. Reaching nearly 90 miles per hour on the radar gun, it's easy to understand why.
"He's just been terrific," Shorewood head coach Wyatt Tonkin said. "Sam is 6-foot-8, which helps. He is one of those guys that is one of our team characters, but on the field between the lines he is a competitor. He's coachable and he's constantly working at his game."
Tonkin said Boone has four pitches that he can consistently throw for strikes.
"The key is not trying to overpower guys," Tonkin said.
Boone goes into the postseason with an 8-0 record and a 1.07 earned-run average. He has four complete games and opponents are hitting just .192 against him. He has also struck out 49 batters and not allowed a home run this season.
"He's just been terrific," Tonkin said. "More than we could ask for."
Tate Budnick | Edmonds-Woodway
Budnick is one of the top players on an Edmonds-Woodway team that won its final eight games to clinch the 4A Wesco South regular-season championship.
Budnick plays both sides of the battery for the Warriors. As a catcher, head coach Dan Somoza said, Budnick does an outstanding job of receiving and working with the team's pitchers.
When he isn't catching, Budnick can be found on the mound, where he is one of the league's top pitchers. Somoza said Budnick attacks hitters well and keeps them off balance with his off-speed pitches.
At the plate, Budnick is capable of hitting the ball hard at any time and can also work deep into the pitch count if need be.
Branson Barnecut | Glacier Peak
Barnecut has helped provide the power for a Glacier Peak team that finished 15-5 and in second place in the Wesco 3A South. The junior has slugged seven doubles for the Grizzlies as their No. 3 hitter.
"Offensively he's been our most productive player," said Glacier Peak head coach Bob Blair. "Defensively, at third base, he's done a great job too."
A two-year varsity starter, Barnecut was a member of last year's Grizzlies' squad that also experienced some success. Blair said he believes that experience will help him focus and maintain his power in the postseason.
"I think consistency is his best thing," Blair said. "That's what we're hoping for from him. What he's done this whole year, we're hoping he continues in the playoffs. We don't need him to do anything more than what he's done."
Cody Anderson | Marysville Pilchuck
The Tomahawks' junior pitcher held out for quite a while before giving up his first run of the year in his last outing of the regular season. Anderson, who is 5-1 on the year, hadn't given up a run until Marysville Pilchuck's regular-season finale against Shorewood.
"When he goes out there he gives us our best chance to win on the mound," said Tomahawks' head coach Kurt Koshelnik. "He's a real good pitcher. Simply put, he's a baseball kid."
The left-hander finished the year with a 0.42 earned-run average and 39 strikeouts. He's one of three junior pitchers who have performed well for Marysville Pilchuck this season.
Koshelnik is thrilled to have one more year with Anderson, who he says has an unparalleled work ethic.
"He works so hard. He's one of the first ones there and he's definitely the last to leave," Koshelnik said. "He's always trying to pick my brain. I've had some great baseball conversations with him. He wants to get better. That's what I love. He knows the game."
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