It all started 18 years ago when Levi Lacey brought the Everett CC baseball program back after a 20 year hiatus. Since that time, the Trojans have never finished lower than 4th in the region, and have made the playoffs in 15 of those 18 seasons. Two seasons ago, Levi handed the keys over to former Trojan JoJo Howie, a member of the 2013 Championship team and the program has not skipped a beat.
Finishing his second season, JoJo has made the playoffs both years finishing in the top 6 his first year and this year winning the North Region Title and advancing to the NWAC championship game. In 100 career games as the head coach, Howie has won 71 games, which includes seven wins in the post season, the most by any baseball coach in EvCC history through their first two years. Howie is already the 2nd winningest coach in 54 years of EvCC baseball history behind only his former coach Lacey who finished his 16 year career with 474 wins.
After winning four straight games, the Trojans found themselves on championship Monday for the third time in four years going up against the host college, Lower Columbia who was playing in their third straight year on championship Monday. Without a loss to this point EvCC had the advantage of only having to win one game while Lower Columbia (who lost to EvCC on the 2nd day of the tournament) had to win two games.
Game One of the day saw a desperate Lower Columbia team focused and dialed in as both the bats and the pitchers were on point in route to a 10-2 victory, setting up a winner take all Game Two.
Gabe Smith got the start for the Trojans in the final game of the season and went 6 innings giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. On any other day that performance would be more than enough to allow the Trojan bats to go out and win the game as they averaged 6.3 runs scored per game this season. But Lower Columbia pitcher Justin Solt had different plans and pitched a gem going 7 innings and only giving up one hit.
With one away in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Trojans were down to their final two outs of the season trailing 2-0. Charlie Larson reached on a walk that was followed by a Sam Linscott double that put runners on 2nd and 3rd with the winning run coming up to bat. Austin Hauck who has been clutch for EvCC all season long ripped a line drive down the 3rd baseline that was snagged by the 3rd baseman who proceeded to race toward the base to apply the tag. Larson was called out on a very close play that went to video review, but the double play sealed the game for Lower Columbia's third straight NWAC Championship.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Trojans had a phenomenal season and continued to show that they are one of the premier programs in the Northwest Athletic Conference, representing the school, their teammates, and themselves with the highest of class. The program has now played in the championship game in four out of the last seven years, eight players were named to all-region teams, two players were gold glove winners, freshman pitcher Zach Boswell was named North Region MVP, and coach JoJo Howie was the North Region Coach of the year.