Sports Roundup - Former BHS grad makes his own path/All-comers slowed by rain/Tryout for select baseball

After making his mark on the diamond, Zach Peach is making the switch and playing for the Gonzaga tennis team.  - Review file photo
After making his mark on the diamond, Zach Peach is making the switch and playing for the Gonzaga tennis team.
— image credit: Review file photo

When Zach Peach tells the story of how he won a scholarship and made it to a Division I university, it’s a tale that leaves everyone in amazement.

“I ran in to Jon (Brandt, an assistant baseball coach at Bainbridge High School) on the ferry and he couldn’t believe it,” he said. “He was so amazed. He thought it was an amazing story.”

Peach, a 2006 graduate of BHS and former standout on the baseball team, is continuing his athletic career in college – but not in the sport he ever thought it would be.

He’ll attend Gonzaga University this fall thanks to making the tennis team and earning a National Merit scholarship.

“I’m very surprised,” he said of the whole process. “It’s unbelievable. I’m extremely lucky. I worked very hard to make this happen.

“It’s a lot of luck and a lot of hard work.”

The road he took to get there started when he got hurt in the only game he played for the Lower Columbia Community College baseball team back in March.

In the first game of the season, he got the first hit of the season for the team in the second spot in the order and made “three awesome plays” at shortstop.

But in his last at-bat of the game, he checked his swing on a pitch, but couldn’t stop his follow through, pinching a nerve in the palm of his left hand.

He stayed in the game, but couldn’t grip his glove because it hurt too much.

Peach got a cortisone shot in his hand to help the pain, but instead it weakened all the tissue in his left hand.

“I can’t swing a bat right now,” he said.

The injury kept him out for the rest of the season and kept him from playing for the Tacoma Cardinals, the feeder team to the Kitsap Blue Jackets.

“I could have risked playing for them and sit through the fall, but I decided to bag it and play tennis,” he said.

When he came back from Lower Columbia in June, he headed over to the Bainbridge Athletic Club to work with Eric Drew, the new pro at BAC and try to see if he could continue with tennis.

“I hit with him the night I got back,” Peach said. “He said I could play in college so from then on I just set my mind to it.”

Peach continued to work with Drew and shortly after entered the Seattle City Open, his first real tournament since he played in USTA tournaments when he was 14.

He struggled against semipro players and players from various college teams, but it was there that he met Brad Bater, a student from the University of Washington who played on the tennis team and played against Peach in baseball when they were kids.

“He was in the same situation I was in,” Peach said.

The two began training together and with Bater’s teammates. Peach even stayed with him when he could.

“He really helped me get better,” he said. “He was right there at the perfect time.”

After competing in several tournaments with Bater, Drew helped Peach put together a video and made some calls to various colleges.

One of the colleges was Lewis and Clark State, where the coach had seen him play and offered him a spot on the team.

But before he did, he called Gonzaga coach Peter MacDonald to tell him that he was heading to Lewis and Clark.

MacDonald talked him into coming out to Gonzaga to tryout for the team before making his decision official.

There, he impressed MacDonald enough to be offered a spot on the team as a walk on.

“He said ‘I want you to play here,’” Peach said. “He thought it was a great situation for me.

“If I didn’t make that call, I wouldn’t be going.”

Thanks to his 3.97 GPA at Lower Columbia, he’ll be going in with a $14,000 National Merit scholarship.

“I was a good student in high school but I didn’t focus,” he said. “I took it serious at Lower Columbia. It was a second chance for me.”

Peach will work towards a major in business administration in his three years of academic eligibility and enjoy watching ex-basketball teammate Steven Gray play for the Bulldogs.

While the commitment he made to tennis means his baseball career is over, Peach said he has no regrets.

“It’s been a crazy series of events that got me to this point,” he said. “I’m not going to miss baseball. I put my all in, I made a lot of friends and traveled to a lot of places.

“Now I’m going to put my all in tennis.”

All-comers slowed by rain

Greg Nance did an ironman performance, winning all six events at Monday’s All-Comers Track Meet. Julia Wiggins wasn’t far behind as she won four events. Thomas Defawe, Brooks Lierle and Sean Sweeney were triple event winners.

Intermittent showers throughout the day impacted the turnout, though nearly 60 entrants braved the threat of rain and were rewarded with clearing skies and ideal conditions for running.

KING-5 announced that barring some unexpected development, film of the August 13 meet, originally scheduled for last Friday, will be aired this Friday, August 24, on the 5 p.m. newscast. The series concludes on Monday.

50 Meters. Girls 3 & under: Meryl Hubbard 14.18, Leah Diamond 1503, Siena Levan 16.93; Girls 4-5: Chloe Lavigne 11.21, Sarah Salot 12.87, Kareese Pippinger 13.75; Girls 6: Katie Thacker and Alyssa Johnson (tie) 11.19, Vivian Powell 12.31; Girls 7: Olivia Driggers 9.69, Maggie Sweeney 9.70, Annika Thornburg 10.25; Girls 8-11: Julia Wiggins 8.19, Aerin Amore 8.31, Carly Tizzano 8.78; Boys 3 & under: Jacques Defawe 13.72, Luke Lavigne 15.94, Max Strom 16.20; Boys 4: Jack Mielke 12.75, Zack Tizzano 17.37; Boys 5: Thomas Defawe 10.81, Zach Dashe 11.31, Eli Sellers 11.84; Boys 6: Carlo Ruggiero 9.63, Daniel Nguyen 9.75, Laine Pickell 10.09; Boys 7: Brooks Lierle 8.97, Hassen Ramaden 9.98, Mario David Rowe 9.91; Boys 8: Sean Sweeney 26.78; Men’s open: Greg Nance 6.43, Sam Sellers 7.10, Ian Brooks 7.41.

100 Meters. Girls 3 & under: Meryl Hubbard 29.85, Leah Diamond 31.66, Siena Levan and Juliette Dashe (tie) 35.66; Girls 4: Sarah Salot 27.62, Adriana Swaka 33.47, Alice Gutsche-Smith 39.75; Girls 5-6: Sydney Brotherton 22.09, Alyssa Johnson 22.97, Katie Thacker and Chloe Lavigne 23.22; Girls 7: Annika Thornburg 19.88, Olivia Driggers 19.89, Maggie Sweeney 20.80; Girls 8-11: Julia Wiggins 16.69, Aerin Amore 16.82, Carly Tizzano 17.35; Boys 3 & under: Jacques Defawe 28.81, Tor Barron 33.40, Luke Lavigne 34.85; Boys 4-5: Thomas Defawe 22.19, Dylan Washenberger 24.75, Eli Sellers and Jack Mielke (tie) 26.16; Boys 6: Carlo Ruggiero 19.35, Daniel Nguyen 19.38, Laine Pickell 21.59; Boys 7: Brooks Lierle 18.44, Mario David Rowe 20.19, Hassan Ramaden 20.68; Boys 8: Sean Sweeney 1:03.99; Boys 11: Jimmy Swaka 20.59; Men’s open: Greg Nance 12.18, Sam Sellers 13.62, Ian Brooks 13.88.

200 Meters. Girls 3-4: Grace Dozeman 1:03.59, Sarah Salot 1:03.85, Siena Levan 1:16.25; Girls 5-6: Sydney Brotherton 49.72, Chloe Lavigne 50.72, Katie Thacker and Alyssa Johnson (tie) 55.12; Girls 7: Annika Thornburg 45.22, Kelsey Washenberger 45.38, Olivia Driggers 45.74; Girls 8-11: Julia Wiggins 36.94, Aerin Amore 37.72, Carly Tizzano 38.01; Boys 3-5: Thomas Defawe 50.50, Eli Sellers 1:02.31, Tor Barron 1:09.35; Boys 6-7: Brooks Lierle 40.13, Daniel Nguyen 43.64, Wyatt Webber 59.85; Boys 8: Sean Sweeney 2:21.50; Boys 11: Jimmy Swaka 40.15; Young men 18-19: Greg Nance 27.93, Ian Brooks 29.63, Sam Sellers 30.97; Men’s open: Derek Schruhl 27.47, Kevin Orn 29.22, Adam Cromie 30.87.

400 Meters. Girls open: Julia Wiggins 1:32.70, Aerin Amore 1:35.00, Ana Buey and Charlotte Rosen (tie) 1:37.57; Men’s open: Greg Nance 1:04.02, John Washenberger 1:08.80, Ian Brooks 1:16.16.

800 Meters. Men’s open: Greg Nance 2:26.69, John Washenberger 2:29.00, Ian Brooks 2:49.31.

1600 Meters. Men’s open: Greg Nance 5:15.78, John Washenberger 5:17.61, Derek Schruhl 5:24.19.

4 x 100 Relay. Julia Wiggins, Aerin Amore, Candice Rosen, Ana Buey 1:20.20; Annika Thornburg, Kelsey Washenberger, Emma Sellers, Althea Pippinger 1:35.50; Eli Sellers, Grace Sellers, Kareese Pippinger, Charlotte Rosen 1:48.00.

Joggers Mile. Heidi Washenberger and John Washenberger, one second off predicted time; Sam Sellers, -2; Mike Cyger, -8.

Tryout for select baseball

Tryouts for the Island Stars will be held on September 8, 9 and the 22 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Bainbridge High School.

In order to be eligible, players must not turn 15 before May 1, 2008.

Call Jeff Bowman at 206-321-7171 or Bill Ackerley at 206-855-1237 for more information.

They can also be reached by email at and

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