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Simon dominates as AA Legion tops Lake Stevens

The Woodinville Weekly of Woodinville, Washington

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On this idyllic summer evening at Woodinville High School, the AA Legion club cruised to a 7-1 win over Lake Stevens June 23.

AA Legion is one of four summer teams governed by the Woodinville Baseball Club. This team comprises players ages 14 to 17, and predominantly features members of Woodinville High School's junior varsity teams.

"Summer ball is a lot more relaxed for the kids," Legion manager Alex Brueske said. "It allows us to work on things that we didn't have time to work on during the regular season."

On this night, starting pitcher Tanner Simon went the distance for the win. The senior-tO'be tossed his third straight complete game, allowing only one earned run in a stretch of 21 innings.

"Tanner came out and threw a good game, threw a lot of strikes," Brueske said. "He didn't give up any big hits, we played clean baseball. It's pretty easy to win games when that happens."

"Usually my change-up is kind of hit-or-miss, but today it was on pretty well," Simon said. "I used my curve ball and got ahead in the counts. So it worked out pretty well."

This evening also featured a coming-of-age story. In the sixth inning, right fielder Matthew Weaver stepped to the plate, as teammates razzed him from the dugout with hoots and hollering and repeated shouts of his last name. He swung at the first good pitch he saw and launched a shot down the left field line into the corner. He ended up at secondbase as teammates celebrated raucously in the dugout.

"Today was my birthday," Weaver said shyly. "I turned 15 today."

As it turned out, Weaver is the youngest player on the club and has been attending Timbercrest Junior High. He'll enroll at Woodinville this fall as a freshman.

"I wasn't really looking for a pitch to hit," Weaver said. "I just went up to home plate and looked for a pitch that was hittable, and I hit it."

After a slow start to the summer season, the AA Legion club finished second in a tournament held in Wenatchee the weekend of June 20-21. They lost the championship game in agonizing fashion, when Mount Vernon executed a squeeze play at home plate.

"It was a fun weekend," Brueske said. "We hadn't played to our potential up to that point. To see us come out and play well and get to the championship game [was great]. It puts us in a good place to be for the rest of the season. If we keep playing the way we're playing it's going to be a good summer. We will go into our tournament we're hosting here in mid-July, and hopefully put us in a place to go to State."

Brueske was asked if there were individual players he wanted to single out for their recent efforts.

Center fielder] T aylor Merry has been hitting the crap out of the ball," Brueske said. "Chris Wilson has been doing great. And Tanner Simon has been pitching great. Him pitching that way has been a huge help in terms of winning games."

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Original Publication Date: June 29, 2015

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