Hihgline Bears open new season

By Keiona Trimmer - Staff Reporter

College baseball comes back to the Northwest this summer. 

The Highline Bears baseball team will be continuing their season this summer in the Pacific International League. 

The team will be hosting 18 different colleges from around the area this season. 

The Bears are a summer collegiate baseball team in the PIL league, a league founded in 1992. This league allows former professionals and college baseball players to participate. 

 Most of the players in the PIL are NCAA eligible, and have to be unpaid to be eligible to participate. The league's season starts in May and ends in July. 

Since this league was created by the Northwest Amateur Western International League in 1992, there have been more than  40 players from the PIL that have played in a major league baseball game. 

One thing different about the Highline Bears compared to some of the other teams in the PIL is that the whole team managing board is made up of local community members.

General Manager Justin Moser, who is also Highline alumni, said he wanted to bring baseball back to the White Center Stadium. The stadium was remodeled in 2008.

The stadium has been used for multiple college teams, little league games, and select baseball programs. The Bears had brought back life to the semi-pro baseball community in 2015 at the White Center Stadium. 

The team averages about 250-400 fans in the stadium every night they have a game, sometimes even getting about 600 fans a night. 

"This year on top of our normal between inning games, we plan on having give-a-ways as we reach milestones towards 10,000 fans," said Moser.

He said they will have surprise giveaways at 2,500 fans, 5,000, 7,500 and of course 10,000 fans.

"We have quite a few promotional nights on top of that as well, including Military Appreciation Night, kicking off National Ice Cream Month with an Ice Cream Eating contest," Moser said.

The team has been working with local community groups through the years. Some are The Yes Foundation, West Seattle Little Leagues, White Center Food Bank, and Highline Schools Foundation. 

The Bears have recently hired Josh Evans as their new manager. Evans was a special assistant for the team last year.

"I'm looking forward to bringing a very talented group of ballplayers together in the Pacific Northwest," said Team Manager Evans.

Evans said that the team wants to give the community something to be excited about over the summer. 

 "We have planned out many community events such as food banks,  local parades, summer school programs, a partnership with local businesses in the community, and much more," Evans said. 

He said he's more excited about the positive impact the team will be having off the field, in the community over the summer.

'The coaching staff and I have prepared this team with the mindset that we've got to find some good talent," said Evans. "Most importantly they've got to have a great head on their shoulders."

Season tickets are $70 online, and $5 per person if you pay at the field. 

"It's a high level of baseball for a cheap family friendly price," said Evans.

The Bears opening night is Friday, June 2 at the Mel Olsen Stadium in Seattle at 7 p.m. They will be playing against the Northwest Emeralds from Seattle. 

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Suicide Stopped

An alert Highline staff member and local public safety officers helped stop a potential suicide on campus last week. While a staff member was working, he noticed a suspicious male wandering the East Lot around 6:25 a.m. May 25. The staff worker called Highline Public Safety who responded to find the individual running around with a rope in his hands, looking for a place to possibly hang himself. This prompted Public Safety to contact Des Moines Police and South King County Fire and Rescue. By the time first responders came to the scene, the distraught man climbed into a tree near Building 99, ready to use the rope on himself. First responders talked to the man, successfully convincing him to come down from the tree. After the turmoil settled the individual was transported to a nearby hospital for an evaluation. Sgt. George Curtis of Public Safety said this was the first time he has encountered someone attempting to endanger their own life on campus.

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Public Safety said the actions of the staff member who reported the incident is an excellent example of how “see something, say something” could potentially save a life. A staff member was reported to have passed out in Building 4 at 8:10 a.m. The person was sitting in their chair when they lost consciousness, then fell out, hitting their head on the ground. Public Safety arrived but the staff member refused any medical treatment.

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