Posts Tagged ‘Green River Community College’

Whidbey Island baseball stars (l to r) Hunter Smith, James Besaw, and Joey Lippo will all be on the same college team next spring. (Teresa Besaw photo)

They’re getting the band back together.

Green River College is adding a fourth Whidbey Island grad to its baseball roster, with Oak Harbor’s James Besaw joining Coupeville alumni Hunter Smith, Joey Lippo, and CJ Smith.

The Smith brothers started the pipeline flowing, playing for the Gators this spring, while Lippo and Besaw, who grew up playing baseball together, will be newcomers to the Green River roster.

Besaw played this spring for the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where he appeared in six games during his freshman season.

While he enjoyed his time on the East Coast, the first-baseman decided he wanted to play, and attend school, closer to home.

Back in town for the summer, he linked up with Lippo, who had decided to follow the Smith brothers to Green River, and the decision became an easy one.

“We checked out the campus last week and he liked it, so now we’re looking forward to these boys playing ball together again,” said very-happy mom Teresa Besaw.

Lippo and Besaw join a Green River team which went through a rebuilding season, while showing much promise for the future.

Hunter Smith started at second and short for the Gators, before a broken hand late in the year brought a premature end to his season.

Older brother CJ, who was also a college freshman, was Green River’s top relief pitcher.

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Coupeville twins Skyy and Joey Lippo are off to new adventures. She’s got a dance scholarship, he’s rejoining high school teammates on the college baseball diamond. (Teresa Besaw photo)

They’ve spent much of their life together, but now the diamond and the stage will separate them for a bit.

Twins Skyy and Joey Lippo, who graduated from Coupeville High School in 2018, have recently pledged themselves to different colleges.

Skyy is headed off to the Midwest, where she will attend The University of Missouri-Kansas City on a dance scholarship, while her brother has signed to play baseball at Green River College in Auburn.

That move reunites Joey with former CHS teammates CJ and Hunter Smith, who will be sophomores on next year’s Gator diamond squad.

Lippo, who bounced between the infield and outfield in his Coupeville days (with some stints at catcher and pitcher as well) figures to be a full-time outfielder at Green River.

He’s studying criminal justice.

“I hope to play center field, but anywhere in the outfield would be great,” Joey Lippo said. “I plan to transfer to UMKC after two years to join Skyy and finish my degree and maybe play tennis there, since they don’t have a baseball team.”

During his time at CHS, Joey was an All-League baseball player and teamed up with William Nelson to form the #1 doubles duo for the Wolf netters.

His sister, who performed with the Whidbey Island Dance Theatre, will study modern dance and ballet at UMKC, with a minor in business.

Skyy, who was a regular in productions of The Nutcracker, will also perform outside the school as she pursues her dance dream.

“If I get the opportunity to dance professional, I will,” she said. “If not, I will teach at a dance studio and hope to manage a studio of my own.”

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CJ Smith tossed 4+ innings of shutout ball Saturday as he and the Green River College baseball team ended their season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

He closed with a vengeance.

Coupeville High School grad CJ Smith pitched strongly on the final day of his freshman college baseball season, offering a glimmer of hope to a Green River team ending a tough trek.

While the Gators were swept in a doubleheader Saturday by Lower Columbia College, bringing their final mark to 4-32, CJ and younger brother Hunter Smith offer hope for the future.

Hunter was the team’s lead-off hitter until he suffered a broken hand after being plunked by a wayward pitch with eight games left on the schedule.

CJ became Green River’s #1 relief pitcher, and ended up tying for the team lead in appearances and saves.

His final game was essentially over when he entered, as Lower Columbia had shelled two Gator hurlers for 12 runs in 4.1 innings.

But, after CJ took the ball, things righted themselves.

He ripped off the final 4.2 innings, holding Lower Columbia scoreless while whiffing two and scattering three hits.

While his offense couldn’t get all the way back, Green River did scratch out three runs during CJ’s time in the game, making for a 3-0 “mini-win” and a 12-3 loss.

On the season, CJ made 13 appearances, including one start, striking out 11 over 30 innings of work.

He finished 0-1 with a save, one of two earned by Gator relievers, and was third-best in ERA among Green River hurlers who made three or more appearances.

The Green River diamond squad was one in transition this spring, with a roster full of fresh faces, and, while the record might not reflect it, it was a team which showed great promise.

Both Smith brothers are expected to return for their sophomore seasons.

Gossip bubbling around Coupeville indicates at least one, and maybe more, former Wolf teammates may seek to join them as Gators next spring.

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Hunter Smith, seen here last season, broke his hand Sunday, ending his freshman college baseball season early. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

He’s out of the lineup, eight games too soon.

Coupeville High School grad Hunter Smith had his freshman college baseball season end prematurely Sunday when he suffered a broken hand thanks to a wayward pitch.

Smith, who is playing with older brother CJ for the Green River College squad, had started 25 of his team’s 28 games this season and was among the team stat leaders in several categories.

Hunter topped the team in walks with 14 (he was also plunked three times, counting his final, unfortunate brush with the ball) and was third in runs (11) and fifth in hits (14).

He had a double and triple and four RBI, while also picking up 45 putouts and 52 assists while playing middle of the infield defense for the Gators.

CJ has spent his first season of college ball as Green River’s primary relief pitcher, going 0-1 with a save across 10 appearances.

The elder Smith is second among the team’s pitchers in appearances, just trailing by one game, and has recorded nine strikeouts in 22.1 innings of work.

Green River, which sits at 4-24 during a major rebuilding season, has four-game stands left against Centralia and Lower Columbia.

While in high school, the Smith brothers led Coupeville baseball back to the promised land.

CJ was the senior pitching ace, and Hunter a slugging sophomore shortstop, in 2016 when the Wolves won their first hardball league crown in 25 years.

Two years later, Hunter, a two-time CHS Male Athlete of the Year, led Coupeville to another Olympic League title, this time in the role CJ played the first time around.

The two brothers reunited this spring as Green River freshmen, winning spots on the baseball team after tryouts.

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College baseball players CJ (left) and Hunter Smith hang out with the true star of the family, lil’ sis Scout. (Charlotte Young photo)

The Smith boys are settling into the college baseball life.

After playing four games over the weekend, the Green River College baseball squad, and their Coupeville stars, are coming up fast on the quarter mark of the season.

The Gators have hit a bit of a downward spiral in recent days, dropping their last five to slide to 3-6 on the season, nine games into a 38-game schedule.

But two of the bright points for Green River have been CHS grads CJ and Hunter Smith.

The former is the team’s top relief ace, while the latter is spending his days starting at second base or shortstop.

CJ has appeared in four games, recording his team’s only save and posting a 1.93 ERA.

That’s the lowest number for any Gator pitcher with more than one appearance.

The older of the Smith brothers has thrown 4.2 innings, faced 22 batters, given up just one earned run, whiffed two and plunked another two.

Hunter has started in eight of nine games, racking up three hits, including a triple, while walking four times, scoring four times, and collecting three RBI.

In the field, he has 17 put-outs and a team-high 16 assists.

While the brothers are separated by two years, they are both in their freshmen season at Green River.

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