Posts Tagged ‘Joey Lippo’

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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Coupeville grad Joey Lippo is off to play college tennis in Kentucky. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Tennis it is.

Joey Lippo was a three-sport star during his days at Coupeville High School, anchoring Wolf teams in tennis, basketball and baseball.

He was also the rare male athlete who could do a mean dance as well, often joining twin sister Skyy in her world of ballet, when he performed in productions of The Nutcracker.

But now Lippo, a 2018 CHS grad, will devote himself solely to the racket arts, after agreeing to play tennis for Midway University in Kentucky.

The liberal arts school competes athletically in the River States Conference, and is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Most NAIA schools offer athletic scholarships, and Midway has pledged to pick up a substantial portion of Lippo’s college costs, making his parents hearts sing with great joy.

In addition to playing tennis, Lippo will study environmental science. School begins Jan. 7, with tennis starting in Feb.

He’s joining an Eagles program which is still in its infancy, as Midway was an all-girls school until just recently.

Founded in 1847, the school was originally known as the Kentucky Female Orphan School and admitted its first male undergraduates in time for the fall 2017 semester.

Midway University sits smack-dab on a 200-acre working farm in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, and the oldest building on campus, Pinkerton Hall, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

While the school has been around for a long time, Lippo is one of the pioneers for male sports at the institution.

The men’s tennis program is in just its second season, with coach Joe Reyes, a highly-accomplished former college player, quickly building a strong roster.

The Eagles currently lay claim to players from Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas, plus four foreign netters, one from Spain and three from Columbia.

And now you can add Washington state to the list.

“The tennis coach found me somehow and told me to come visit the school,” Lippo said. “I got to play with the team and I loved that environment and everyone was so welcoming.

“It’s a small school and reminds me a lot of Coupeville.”

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CHS grad Joey Lippo and his select baseball team won five of six games at an 18-team Arizona tourney. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The weather was hot in Arizona, but Joey Lippo was hotter.

Paced by their speedy lead-off hitter, the Seattle Bombers 18U select baseball squad won five of six games, claiming second-place at the 5th annual World Series West.

There were 18 teams, repping multiple states, in the Upperclass Division of the tourney in Scottsdale, and it took five days before any of them could upend the Coupeville grad and his summer compatriots.

The Bombers won a game a day from July 20-23, finishing first in pool play and earning a bye into the semifinals of the tourney.

After opening with a 9-7 win Friday over Edge White, Lippo and Co. blanked the Los Al Cage Rats 5-0 Saturday, then pulled off the win of the tourney Sunday morning.

Facing off with Batters Box 18U Navy, the Bombers went into extra innings tied 3-3.

At which point it was Lippo time, as the former Wolf launched a game-busting RBI double in the top of the eighth.

The blow sparked a five-run rally, which turned out to be a good thing, as Bombers pitching gave back three runs in the bottom half of the inning before escaping with an 8-6 win.

With a bye at stake, the Bombers won a battle of unbeaten teams Monday, knocking off Colorado Baseball Academy 7-0.

Lippo pilfered two bases to spark the offense, while Bombers hurler Eric Anderson tossed a no-hitter to seal the deal on a perfect 4-0 run through pool play.

The tourney came to an end Tuesday, with the Bombers knocking off the Aggie Scout Team 4-2 in the semis, before they were toppled 7-3 in the championship game by the Central Valley Marlins.

The Marlins, who did not have a bye coming in to the playoffs, had to win three games Tuesday to take home the trophy to Fresno, CA, and they did just that.

The tourney’s #1 team in ERA, strikeouts, RBI and hits won a pair of elimination games in romps (15-0 and 12-2) before jumping on the Bombers for four runs in the first inning.

Lippo went down swinging, rapping out a pair of hits to pace the Bombers in the title game.

For the tourney, he recorded six hits, four runs and two RBI, while reaching base just about every way possible.

That including being plunked, taking advantage of both fielding errors and catcher’s interference and using his torrid toes to out-race a dropped third strike.

Lippo was spotless on defense while roaming center field for the Bombers, including sprinting into left at one point to snag a ball his teammate lost in the sun.

He also is returning home without suffering heat stroke (we think), despite the weather being a balmy 100 degrees on the “coolest” day, before soaring Tuesday to a brain-frying 116 (in the shade).

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Together since t-ball, and still going strong, are l to r, Nick Etzell, Mike Etzell and Jake Hoagland. (Lisa Jenne photo)

Summer baseball is about two things.

One, it’s a chance for the guys who just graduated to have a final farewell.

And, maybe more importantly, it’s a chance for the young guys who still have high school eligibility, to get some more work in while playing with their teammates.

So growth, and not wins and losses, was first on the checklist for Coupeville High School coach Chris Smith at the season-ending Enumclaw 4th of July Bash.

Consider that part of the agenda checked off, as the Wolves, while going 0-4, came within a run in their final two games.

And they did so with six of their 10 players (6 of 9 on the final day of play) scheduled to return next spring.

“Good tournament for us this weekend,” Chris Smith said. “No wins, but good work for our younger guys that are coming up.”

Coupeville opened with a tough draw on the first day of the tournament (Friday, July 6), falling 8-0 to the Puyallup Knights and 8-2 to the Thurston County Saints in a rain-shortened game.

After a day off, the Wolves returned to the diamond for a Sunday twin-bill, minus Olympic League MVP Hunter Smith, who departed for a family trip to Italy.

Playing with no bench (middle school ace Scott Hilborn was in uniform in case any of the starting nine went down), CHS was nipped 7-6 by the Avengers and 5-4 by Mac Baseball.

In both those games, Coupeville fought back from early deficits to reclaim a tie or the lead, only to give up the winning run in the seventh and final inning.

But, while the wins didn’t come, the hits did for the young guns, as potential returning players accounted for nine of the 15 hits rapped out on the weekend by the Wolves.

Matt Hilborn and Dane Lucero, who will be seniors next year, led the way, both collecting four hits apiece.

Lucero walloped a double, while Hilborn had the team’s biggest base-knock, crunching a seventh-inning RBI triple to left against the Avengers.

The recently graduated Jake Hoagland (1B, 2B), Hunter Smith (1B, 1B), Nick Etzell (1B) and Joey Lippo (1B) notched their final hits in a Wolf uniform, while junior-to-be Gavin Knoblich smoked a single.

Underclassmen Mason Grove, Gavin Straub and Daniel Olson rounded out the Wolf roster, with all three coming around to score at least once during the weekend.

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