Posts Tagged ‘Matt Hilborn’

Matt Hilborn struck out nine Cedar Park Christian batters in six innings Wednesday afternoon. (Karen Carlson photos)

Wolf catcher Gavin Knoblich was a rock behind the plate, while also collecting one of Coupeville’s three hits.

Movie buffs will tell you it’s a simple truth.

You can push King Kong around, harass him, pester him, think you have him exactly where you want him, and then, in the blink of an eye, the beast is liable to break free and pop you like a ripe grape.

And so it went for the Coupeville High School baseball squad, which played visiting Cedar Park Christian dead even for six innings Wednesday, only to get squashed in the game’s final frame.

Tied 3-3 heading into the seventh against the North Sound Conference’s biggest, baddest diamond team, the Wolves were primed for an upset of gargantuan proportions.

But it wasn’t to be, as pitch count limits plucked Coupeville ace Matt Hilborn from the mound, and the Eagles promptly savaged the inexperienced Wolf bullpen to claim a 12-3 win.

The loss drops the rebuilding Wolves to 0-2 in league play, 0-4 overall.

The teams, who tangled Monday with CPC winning 10-0, wrap up their season series Friday in Redmond.

Sophomore Daniel Olson, who celebrated his 16th birthday Wednesday by crunching a two-run RBI single, will get the ball in the finale.

After a brief bit of trouble in the top of the first, Hilborn was at his best while facing a powerhouse squad which boasts back-to-back runs to the state tourney semifinals.

The Eagles, as deep and talented as any team Coupeville is likely to face this season, pushed a pair of runs across in the opening frame, only to be denied any more by a bang-bang double play.

With a runner breaking to second on an attempted steal, Hilborn induced the batter to shoot a soft liner back to the mound.

The Wolf senior calmly speared the incoming ball, turned, took a measured step or two towards first-baseman Dane Lucero, then doubled off the wayward runner.

The first inning, when he surrendered a double to right and a two-run single to center, was the only inning in which Hilborn allowed more than a single runner on base at any time.

He sailed through three straight shut-out innings after the first frame, with a little help from catcher Gavin Knoblich, who gunned down a would-be stealer by a country mile.

Given a chance, the Wolf offense answered and reclaimed the lead for Hilborn.

After going three up and three down in the first two innings, Coupeville got a run back in the third, then shot ahead by plating two in the fourth.

Olson, who was my unofficial, but super-efficient, video store manager at David’s DVD Den when he was in kindergarten, had an especially strong day while dreaming of birthday cake under blazing blue skies.

He was the first Wolf to reach base, and the first to score, after scampering down the line as the CPC shortstop botched his chopper to lead off the bottom of the third inning.

Walks to Bryce Payne and Hawthorne Wolfe juiced the bags, before Olson was waved home after the field ump called a balk on a botched pick-off play at first.

While the Eagles escaped after that, thanks to a strikeout and a pop-up snagged in foul territory, the game remained a nail-biter.

Lucero made an especially impressive defensive play as well, chasing down a foul ball behind first base while hurtling within a whisper of entangling himself in the net.

Perhaps sparked by that, or by Hilborn’s calm demeanor on the mound, Coupeville snatched the lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Collecting all three of their hits on the afternoon in one unbroken streak, the Wolves started things with a lil’ flare off the bat of lanky right fielder Ulrik Wells.

The ball skittered off his bat, looped through the surprisingly warm air, then somehow split three defenders converging between the mound and first base.

Against all odds, the orb made it down to the ground, evading all three mitts, and Wells, taking long strides, found himself perched on the bag as CHS coach Chris Smith yelled “Yeah, baby!!” from across the diamond.

Knoblich followed his mate with a smash deep into the hole at short for hit #2, before Olson lofted a gorgeous liner which splashed down into center, giving both of his teammates ample time to hurry home.

Up 3-2, the Wolves put runners at second and third with one out, Olson accompanied by Payne, who eked out another walk, only to have CPC slip away one more time.

The Eagles knotted the game back up with a two-out RBI single in the fifth, with both pitching staffs matching goose eggs after that until the seventh.

Hilborn went out strong, stranding a runner at first in the sixth, rearing back to toss his ninth strikeout before getting a pair of pop-ups.

His velocity might have been down a bit at that point, but he was still gunnin’. Then, enter the state, and exit Hilborn.

Pitch counts, which were instituted to prevent overuse of young hurlers, are the law of the land in Washington state, so it was off to shortstop for Coupeville’s starting ace.

With Lucero having used up his pitches Monday, and Olson slated to start Friday, Chris Smith went to his bullpen, which is very much a work in progress, featuring two freshmen and a varsity newcomer.

Wolfe, Cody Roberts, and Jonny Carlson combined to face 13 hitters in the seventh, and were stung by Cedar Park’s state tourney-tested hitters.

A pair of doubles to deep center, which combined to plate five runners, were killers, but Coupeville’s next gen hurlers did get all three of the inning’s outs by strikeout.

Roberts whiffed one, while Carlson gunned down two of the four hitters he faced.

With a tie ball game suddenly turned into a rout, Smith used the seventh to get some game action for some of his other role players, with Andrew Score pinch-hitting and Gavin Straub pinch-running.

Score, playing in front of older brother, and former Wolf first-baseman Kory, launched a long, arcing fly to center which required the Eagle fielder to take off sprinting before making a pretty sweet catch.

Ever the philosophical coach, Smith talked to his players about the big picture after the game, and had praise for both his veteran hurler, and his younger guys.

Matt pitched a gem of a game, and against a very good hitting team,” Smith said. “He gave us all he could, six great innings, and I’m very happy with his performance out there.

Daniel delivered a huge hit for us; that was beautiful,” he added. “He’s been getting the bat on the ball really well lately, which is why we moved him up in the lineup. It really paid off.”

While Smith wants wins, having his squad, which lost eight seniors to graduation, be able to compete with a team which has valid dreams of winning a state title, is a big first step.

“We want to make them earn it, and we did,” he said. “We need to keep working on our offense, but we’re going in the right direction.

“As long as we keep making sure they have to earn everything, I’m pleased.”

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Andrew Martin was credited with six tackles in Friday’s loss to Sultan. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Work with what you have.

Sultan’s hard-hitting (and chippy) defense limited a lot of what Coupeville wanted to do Friday night, resulting in a 38-6 Turk win at Mickey Clark Field.

But, even in a loss, there are stats to ponder, mull over, and argue about.

So wander down below, and you’ll see what I was given for week #6.

The stats were compiled by injured Wolf Jake Pease, who was (relatively) high above the field, in Coupeville’s new press box – where awkward sight lines are the order of the day.




Dawson Houston 2-6 for 33 yards
Shane Losey 5-11 for 26 yards


Sean Toomey-Stout 2 receptions for 27 yards
Dane Lucero 2-16
Gavin Knoblich 1-10
Matt Hilborn 1-3
Gabe Shaw 1-3


Toomey-Stout 16 carries for 62 yards
Losey 7-4
Hilborn 9-2
Derek Leyva 1-(-6)
Houston 5-(-20)

Total Yards (Rush/Pass/Rec):

Toomey-Stout 89
Losey 30
Lucero 16
Houston 13
Knoblich 10
Hilborn 5
Shaw 3


Toomey-Stout 1


Toomey-Stout 6




Alex Turner 10
Toomey-Stout 8
Andrew Martin 6
Hilborn 5
Knoblich 4
Lucero 4
Ryan Labrador 
Gavin St Onge
Matt Stevens
Isaiah Bittner 

Fumble recoveries:

Team 1




Hilborn 3-55

Kickoff Returns:

Hilborn 3-45
Leyva 1-15
Toomey-Stout 1-0

Punt Returns:

Hilborn 2-22

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Freshman Xavier Murdy had three carries for 16 yards Friday as Coupeville whacked La Conner on the road. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Stats are back.

Flush from Friday night’s 33-12 romp over La Conner, Coupeville High School football coaches kicked out a spiffy stat sheet for week #4.

While I can’t deliver a concise season-to-date stat breakdown at the moment, this should tide you over for a bit.


Friday’s totals:




Dawson Houston 8-12 for 96 yards


Dane Lucero 3 receptions for 56 yards
Gavin Knoblich 1-25
Matt Hilborn 2-8
Sean Toomey-Stout 2-7


Toomey-Stout 19 carries for 144 yards
Hilborn 9-109
Xavier Murdy 3-16
Gavin Straub 2-16
Andrew Martin 1-3
Houston 5-(-2)

Total Yards (Rush/Pass/Rec):

Toomey-Stout 151
Hilborn 117
Houston 94
Lucero 56
Knoblich 25
Murdy 16
Straub 16
Martin 3


Toomey-Stout 3
Hilborn 1
Houston 1


Murdy 3


Toomey-Stout 18
Hilborn 6
Houston 6
Murdy 3




Alex Turner 16
Toomey-Stout 12
Shane Losey 7
Lucero 5
Knoblich 4
Ryan Labrador 3
Martin 3


Hilborn 1

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Wolf senior Jake Hoagland was second on the team in triples this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It’s not over till they publish the stats.

While the season ended Saturday for the Coupeville High School baseball team, the afterglow of a very-strong 15-6 run, which included a second Olympic League crown in three seasons, lingers.

Now, thanks to CHS coach Chris Smith and his dedicated book-keepers, you can marinate in the deep end of the stats pool.

Want to know Jake Hoagland’s on-base percentage or how many strikeouts Dane Lucero recorded while on the mound? Here you go.

And PS, it was .387 and 24, for those with limited time to poke around in the numbers.

For everyone else, dive in.



Player AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR BB RBI Avg. OBP
H. Smith 66 23 31 5 6 7 28 .470 .549
J. Welling 40 12 17 4 12 22 .425 .593
M. Hilborn 66 28 24 3 15 17 .364 .506
J. Lippo 66 21 22 2 1 15 9 .333 .457
J. Pease 47 8 13 2 8 8 .277 .404
D. Lucero 70 8 19 4 9 17 .271 .350
J. Hoagland 59 16 16 2 2 11 10 .271 .387
J. Zettle 4 1 1 2 1 .250 .500
N. Etzell 42 13 9 3 8 3 .214 .353
G. Knoblich 38 9 6 6 4 .158 .289
K. Rockwell 51 6 8 1 9 7 .157 .328
J. Vidoni 1 1 1.000
S. Losey 5 2 2 1 .000 .444



D. Lucero 4-1 3.20 9 28 24 14 17 1 24 30.2 1.467
D. Olson 0-0 0.00 1 1 0.1 0.000
H. Smith 8-2 1.45 10 42 16 13 6 1 73 62.2 0.766
J. Lippo 0-1 10.50 1 1 1 2 1 0.2 3.000
J. Welling 1-0 3.50 1 3 2 1 2.0 1.500
M. Hilborn 2-2 2.58 8 34 19 13 16 5 38 35.2 1.415
N. Etzell 0-0 9.54 4 3 5 5 2 2 4 3.2 1.364

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   Scout Smith lays down the law. “You dare to run on me? ME????? Foolish child…” (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Matt Hilborn gets creative in a bid to make SportsCenter.

   Mollie Bailey: “I could throw this ball straight over the center field fence. I won’t cause I’m all responsible and stuff, but I could if I wanted to. I’m not just strong, I’m farm strong, baby!!”

   Hunter Smith is cookin’ in the kitchen, and someone just ordered the high, hard cheese.

   Fireball-chucking Wolf hurler Katrina McGranahan enjoys the look on batter’s faces when they strike out.

   “I told you before, you want to go to McDonald’s after the game, you win. Milkshakes are for closers!”

   Flying towards the foul line, Kyle Rockwell tracks the ball for a key out in the final inning.

Chelsea Prescott proves The Terminator wasn’t just a movie.

Wins, and glossy action pix, as far as the eye can see.

The Coupeville softball and baseball squads have combined to go 22-8 this spring and are an inch or two away from both adding league title plaques to the school’s Wall of Honor.

It’s a done deal for the softball sluggers, while the diamond men are 98.76% there.

Both teams captured big home wins Friday, with softball crushing Island rival South Whidbey 10-0 and baseball nipping Chimacum 2-0 for a win which all but anointed them league champs.

As the games played out, local camera bug John Fisken worked both sides of the street, and the pics seen above are courtesy him.

To see everything which came out of his camera, pop over to:





And remember, purchases help fund college scholarships for CHS student/athletes. So, circle of life and all.

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