Posts Tagged ‘Matt Hilborn’

Matt Hilborn was named team MVP for his senior season on the baseball diamond. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Jake Pease won the team’s “Dirt Bag Award” for plays like this.

A late-season run carried the Coupeville High School baseball squad to the playoffs, and won the Wolves some fans among league coaches.

When All-Conference balloting was finished, four CHS diamond men landed North Sound Conference Second-Team honors.

Seniors Matt Hilborn, Jake Pease, and Dane Lucero were tabbed, while junior catcher Gavin Knoblich also got the call.

Those awards were just the start of what Coupeville coach Chris Smith doled out Tuesday, as he and his staff held a season-ending awards banquet.

Hilborn, who led the team on the mound and at the plate, was named the MVP, while Lucero was tabbed as Offensive Player of the Year and Knoblich as Defensive Player of the Year.

Pease claimed the “Dirt Bag Award,” Gavin Straub was handed the “Aiden Award,” named after former CHS player Aiden Crimmins, and Lucero and Pease were honored as captains.

Seniors Lucero, Pease, Hilborn, and Shane Losey notched Four-Year awards for playing their entire high school career.


Varsity letter winners:

Mason Grove
Matt Hilborn
Gavin Knoblich
Shane Losey
Dane Lucero
Daniel Olson
Bryce Payne
Jake Pease
Cody Roberts
Ulrik Wells
Hawthorne Wolfe


Participation Awards:

Jonny Carlson
Sage Sharp
Gavin Straub
Seth Weatherford

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Senior Matt Hilborn led CHS baseball in multiple stat categories, both as a pitcher and hitter. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The season’s not complete without one final swing through the stat sheet.

The Coupeville High School baseball squad exited the playoffs Saturday, after pushing a pair of league champs hard.

With the losses to Northwest Conference kingpin Meridian and Emerald City League bigwig Overlake, the Wolves finished 7-14.

That was a big comeback, though, as Coupeville started the season 0-12.

A 4-3 win over arch-rival South Whidbey snapped the skid — and eventually denied the Falcons a chance to win the North Sound Conference title — and kicked off a seven-game winning streak.

CHS swept three-game sets from Sultan and Granite Falls to snare the final NSC playoff berth.

As they pack up the uniforms, bats, and balls until next spring, a look at final individual stats:



Player AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR SB BB RBI Avg. OBP
D. Olson 50 8 8 3 8 10 .160 .276
H. Wolfe 52 9 15 2 12 5 6 .288 .383
M. Grove 30 4 2 2 4 1 .067 .176
G. Knoblich 55 5 15 2 4 8 .273 .333
M. Hilborn 61 16 19 2 12 11 7 .311 .427
J. Carlson 1
B. Payne 28 4 2 4 9 2 .071 .297
A. Score 5
S. Weatherford 1 1 2 .667
D. Lucero 51 7 16 6 1 14 8 .314 .471
S. Losey 32 5 5 2 1 4 6 1 .156 .289
S. Sharp 7 1 2 1 2 1 .286 .444
G. Straub 2 2 .333
J. Pease 54 11 13 1 2 8 13 .241 .333
U. Wells 55 9 12 3 1 2 4 7 .218 .279
C. Roberts 11 2 1 1 2 2 .091 .231



Player ERA Gms Starts Hits Runs BB HBP K IP BF WHIP
D. Olson 12.37 7 7 45 53 26 6 28 24.1 153 2.918
H. Wolfe 8.75 3 4 5 1 2 2 4.0 20 1.250
M. Grove 5.25 2 2 1 2 1 2 1.1 9 3.000
G. Knoblich 3.50 2 1 1 6 2 1 2.0 15 3.500
M. Hilborn 1.64 8 6 27 18 20 5 45 38.1 172 1.226
J. Carlson 5.83 6 14 6 3 3 6.0 38 2.833
D. Lucero 4.88 8 8 54 40 28 2 35 38.2 204 2.121
C. Roberts 5.94 11 17 14 12 3 15 15.1 78 1.891

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Catcher Gavin Knoblich is one of five starters who can return for a Coupeville baseball team which finished its season strongly. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The Wolves are done, while the Falcons still have a shot.

The Coupeville High School baseball squad, which beat the odds by making the playoffs after an 0-12 start to the season, dropped a pair of close games Saturday at the bi-district tourney in Bellingham, bringing its season to an end.

Meanwhile, South Whidbey split two contests, and gets to return to Sehome High School next Saturday to play a winner-to-state, loser-out game.

The Falcons, the #2 seed from the North Sound Conference, opened the day by beating Mount Baker 5-0, before falling 5-1 to NWC kingpin Cedar Park Christian in the semifinals.

Coupeville fell 6-1 to Northwest Conference champ Meridian, then exited after a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Emerald City League champ Overlake.

Cedar Park (19-3) and Meridian (11-10) won two games apiece, clinched tickets to state, and face off May 11 for the district title.

That same day, South Whidbey (18-4) plays Overlake (15-5), while King’s (12-10) faces University Prep (10-7).

The winners of those games are state-bound, as well, and return to the field in the afternoon to decide the district’s #3 and #4 seeds to the big dance.

Mount Baker (9-13) and Coupeville (7-14) are done, joining Lynden Christian (11-14), which was eliminated in an earlier play-in game.

How Saturday developed for the Wolves:


Game 1:

Coupeville struck first, but it would turn out to be the only run they got off of Meridian ace Dylan Hickok.

Freshman Hawthorne Wolfe whacked a one-out single off of a fielder’s glove, stole second, then came around to score on an RBI single by Dane Lucero in the bottom of the first, promising big things.

But, while the Wolves put runners aboard in four of the next six innings, they couldn’t push them across the plate, something at which the Trojans fared slightly better.

Meridian picked up a run of its own in the bottom of the first, and the game stayed knotted at 1-1 until the bottom of the third, as Lucero and Hickock dueled in the sun.

The Trojans finally broke through thanks to a lead-off double from Brayden Zender, a shot which hit Earth (barely) in fair territory, before shooting away from the fielder into foul territory.

Big fans of playing small ball, and very adept at it, the Northwest Conference’s best 1A team plated the eventual winning run on a suicide squeeze, then added two more in the inning thanks to a bloop single which dropped in between a pair of Wolf fielders.

Up 4-1, Hickok was in charge, but also probably saying a silent prayer of thanks after his squad put up another run in both the fourth and sixth innings.

Coupeville, after going down 1-2-3 in the second, had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, and sixth innings, but came up a hit shy each time.

In the third frame, Shane Losey lofted a little flare to left for a single, but he eventually died a slow death at third base.

An inning later, Lucero drilled a lead-off single and Gavin Knoblich bunted him over to second, but that was where he remained as the Wolf rally sputtered out.

Coupeville’s final best chance came in the top of the sixth, with Lucero getting plunked and Ulrik Wells lashing a single.

But with two on and two out, Hickok dodged one final time, inducing an inning-ending ground-out before retiring CHS in order in the seventh.

The Wolves rung up six hits in the opener, with Lucero punching a pair of singles in support of his own pitching.

Matt Hilborn, Wolfe, Wells, and Losey also collected base-knocks.


Game 2:

With their backs to the wall, the Wolves found themselves facing a familiar foe, but this time it almost turned out radically different.

In the second game of the season, Coupeville suffered one of its few blow-out losses this season, falling 13-1 to Overlake.

Jump forward to Saturday afternoon and CHS pushed the Owls hard, carrying a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth.

With Hilborn keeping Overlake at bay — he gave up a pair of doubles in the early going, but stranded both runners — Coupeville had a prime opportunity to jump out to a lead.

It didn’t come for quite awhile, though, as the Wolves stranded Knoblich at third base in the second and frittered away a lead-off double from Lucero in the fourth.

Coupeville finally cracked the scoreless tie thanks to some smartly-done small ball of its own.

Losey scampered to first when a third strike got away from the Overlake catcher, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Hilborn, then scored on a Wolfe RBI single.

Overlake responded quickly, however, putting together three hits and a walk in the bottom half of the fifth and turning it into three runs.

A Knoblich single went for naught in the sixth, but Coupeville rallied in the seventh, plating one and putting the tying run at third.

Back-to-back walks to Losey and Hilborn got the inning off with a bang, but Overlake picked up two outs on grounders to even things out a bit.

The second of those rollers, coming from third-baseman Jake Pease, brought in a run, cutting the lead to a single score.

But that game-tying run, represented by Wolfe bouncing on the bag at third, never got to come down the line, as the game ended on a come-backer to the Owls hurler.

Wolfe and Knoblich each had a pair of singles in the season-ending loss, while Lucero’s final prep hit was a two-bagger.

The defeat brings an end to the high school careers of seniors Hilborn, Losey, Pease, Lucero, and Bryce Payne, but CHS coach Chris Smith can return starters Wolfe, Knoblich, Wells, Daniel Olson, and Mason Grove, as well as several key reserves.

While Coupeville lost its first 12 games, it was highly competitive during that streak.

The season turned around with a 4-3 home win over South Whidbey, a loss which eventually cost the Falcons a share of the league title.

After that, the Wolves got their bats cookin’ and swept three-game series from Sultan and Granite Falls to nab the league’s final playoff berth.

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Ulrik Wells crashes hard to score the second of his team’s 14 runs Friday afternoon. (Karen Carlson photo)

The team that couldn’t score, now can’t stop.

Throwing double digits up on the scoreboard for the third straight game Friday, the Coupeville High School baseball squad crushed visiting Sultan 14-4, completing a season sweep of the Turks and running its winning streak to four games.

With the win, the Wolves rise to 4-8 in North Sound Conference play, 4-12 overall, and need just one victory in three games against Granite Falls next week to clinch a playoff spot.

Coupeville sits two games up on the Tigers (2-10, 4-13) heading into the final regular-season series.

The teams play Monday and Friday in Coupeville, with a Wednesday clash at Granite.

The top four teams from the six-team NSC advance to the postseason, and Cedar Park Christian (12-0, 16-1), South Whidbey (10-2, 15-2), and King’s (7-5, 8-9) are the top three seeds.

With the loss Friday, Sultan (1-11, 1-16) was eliminated from contention for the #4 seed, leaving Coupeville and Granite Falls to fight amongst themselves.

If the Wolves nail down a playoff berth, they open the double-elimination district tourney Saturday, May 4 at Sehome High School.

They would play the #1 seed from the Northwest Conference (currently Mount Baker), and win or lose, would play a second playoff game later that same day.

But that’s still in a possible future, and Coupeville head coach Chris Smith believes in the oldest of baseball proverbs — take them one game at a time.

Friday he saw his team play very patient ball, racking up seven hits and 14 walks in a game which seemed to drift through every season.

Pushing two-and-a-half hours, even with the mercy rule bringing the game to a close after six innings, the contest opened with the pitter-patter of rain, moved through the rustle of wind, then closed with a rare burst or two of sunshine.

Along the way, the Wolves got a solid pitching performance from Matt Hilborn, who whiffed 11 before pitch count limits removed him from the mound an out short of putting in six innings of work.

Matt came out and gave it his all,” Smith said. “He got some good work in, and we needed that for him heading in to next week.”

Mason Grove made a rare appearance on the mound in relief of Hilborn, and, on mom Mindy’s birthday, slammed the door shut quickly, ending Sultan’s final hopes on a fly-out.

Offensively, Coupeville accepted what it was given, then made the Turks pay, over and over again, scoring in five of six innings.

In the beginning, the Wolves were content to scratch out a run here, a run there, plating a single hitter in the first and second innings.

The first time around it was Hilborn, who walked, stole second, went to third on a passed ball, then shot home to score on a Hawthorne Wolfe grounder.

Looking for a bit more excitement in the second frame, the Wolves got a one-out single to left-center off the bat of first-baseman Ulrik Wells.

After a balk bumped him ahead an extra base, Coupeville’s tallest player defied the odds, scoring on a passed ball and doing it with a spectacular face-first dive under the Sultan catcher.

The Wolves busted the game open with an 11-batter, seven-run third inning which went on and on and on some more, as a Sultan reliever played a game called “999 pitches and no strikes.”

Picking up six walks, including three with the bases jammed full of runners, CHS also took advantage of two Turk errors — a bad throw and a brain freeze — and a couple of passed balls/wild pitches, before capping things with one resounding hit.

That came from Hilborn, making his second trip to the plate in the inning, after being plunked in the thigh by a wayward pitch the first time around.

Getting some sweet revenge, he smashed a two-run single right back up the middle, the ball almost taking the pitcher’s leg off as it ricocheted by and shot into open space.

Sultan, playing with the minimum nine players, did its best to hang tough, though, and rallied to pull within 9-4.

But Hilborn was ultimately too much for the Turks, and he got some help on defense.

Gavin Straub made a great running catch in right field and shortstop Jake Pease went over his shoulder to snag a high lob while on the move.

Coupeville added two more runs in the fifth inning, on RBI singles from Wolfe and Dane Lucero, before putting Sultan out of its misery in the sixth.

Walks to Daniel Olson, Seth Weatherford, and Hilborn, plus two more Sultan errors, let a pair of Wolves scamper home, but the 14th, and final run, came on a truly solid base-knock.

It came from Pease, who slapped the exclamation point on things with a rocket of a single to deep center-field.

Any other time, the laser would have brought two, and possibly all three runners aboard around to score, but Coupeville only needed one to stretch the lead to 10, so Pease was denied extra RBI’s.

Not that it seemed to bother him, as the senior helped lead a raucous post-game celebration.

Lucero paced the offense with a pair of singles, while Hilborn, Wolfe, Pease, Gavin Knoblich, and Wells all chipped in with a base-knock of their own.

Hilborn (4), Olson (3), and Lucero (2) drew multiple base on balls, with the one-walk club offering membership to Bryce Payne, Weatherford, Straub, Wells, and Pease.

With the game mostly in hand all the way, Smith mixed and matched his lineup, getting 13 players on the field.

Sage Sharp started in right field and Jonny Carlson pulled back-up duty at first to round out the Wolves who played.

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Freshman outfield ace Hawthorne Wolfe, who had a strong day defensively Friday, charges in to retreive a ball. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Ulrik Wells goes low to snag a hot bouncer.

Morgan Pease gives the thumbs up after big bro Jake clobbers a key RBI double.

Matt Hilborn deals.

The prairie was alive with various sounds Friday afternoon.

Bats hitting baseballs. Fans roaring. And the steady click-click-click of John Fisken’s camera.

The energetic paparazzi moved to and fro as Coupeville’s big win over arch-rival South Whidbey played out, and the pics seen above are courtesy him.

To see everything he shot, pop over to:


And remember, a percentage of all sales goes to help fund scholarships for CHS student/athletes.

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