Walking off into the Pioneer sunset

Courtesy of LC Athletics. Designed by Peter Melling.

Baseball’s seniors share their insights as they close out the season

Compiled by Peter Melling /// Sports Editor

Following their final season of Lewis & Clark baseball, ten seniors reflect on yearbook quotes, favorite memories, legacies, favorite teams and players, advice to future players and post-graduation plans.


Evan Gray (’15)

“I hate when I’m on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me, like, oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle.” -Kanye West

1. My fondest LC Baseball memory was probably the bus ride back from Whitworth my sophomore year. We had just won back to back series and the energy on the bus was super positive and fun.

2. I hope to have left behind a culture of hard work and brotherhood. I think my whole class would say that over the course of four years we have all bonded and become very close. I hope that the classes after us continue to bond and be as tight-knit as the team has been over my four years.

3. My favorite team is the Seattle Mariners, and my favorite player is Adam Jones.

4. I would say enjoy your time as a baseball player. Enjoy the friends around you, and realize that it is supposed to be fun. Play everyday like its your last, because four years go fast.

5. I am not really sure, probably try and go to graduate school.


Ellis “EJ” Hand (’15)

“Some bridges are meant to be crossed, some meant to be burned.”

1. My favorite memory is the Arizona bus trip my freshman year.

2. I hope that future Pios learn about getting your stride out of the way early.

3. My favorite team is the Oakland Athletics, and my favorite player is Rick Ankiel.

4. “If somebody ever asks you to do something, do it really bad so you never have to do it again” -Paris Hilton

5. I’m going to become an Army Specialist.


Alex Heimbrodt (’15)

“Stay the course.” – My grandfather

1. My fondest memory is beating Linfield this year.

2. I hope to leave behind a competitive mindset and positive outlook on the game of baseball that the team can use in the coming years.

3. My favorite team is the San Francisco Giants, and my favorite player is Madison Bumgarner.

4. Leave it all out on the field, and remember that your hard work will always pay off.

5. I plan on finally resting my pitching arm.


Hayden Higger (’15)

“Ninety feet between home plate and first may be the closest man has ever come to perfection.” – Red Smith

1. Even though it was rough at the time, I’ll never forget our bus breaking down in the middle of Arizona last year and getting stranded at a gas station for 19 hours.

2. I hope that the team maintains a culture of working hard and always having each other’s backs in tough situations.

3. My favorite team is the Los Angeles Angels, and my favorite player is David Eckstein.

4. Work hard and don’t piss off Coach Flynn.

5. I plan on working in sports ticket sales.


Eric Hyun (’15)

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles R. Swindoll

1. I think I have two, but I would have to say the long bus ride down to Arizona my sophomore year, or a leaping catch to keep the game tied against Whitman my freshman year, and hitting a double the next inning to help beat Whitman my sophomore year.

2. I hope to leave behind a mindset to the underclassmen of what is to be expected of a Lewis & Clark baseball player both mentally and physically.

3. My favorite team is the Oakland Athletics.

4. I would advise future players to understand and to really invest their trust and time into the goals that are set from year to year, because the program is in a better place than what we started with, but there is still a lot more to be done. Once individual and team goals are achieved they cannot be put away for good, but must be consistently done throughout the season.

I would also advise future players to stick with the program, putting in full dedication that goes above and beyond just set practice times. Getting the program to the top is a harder uphill battle than most teams in our conference have to face, because success has been hard to come by. So, strive to be the team that never has to look up from the bottom and earn respect, but consistently competes at the top.

5. As of right now I am applying to grad school to go into the sports business program at the University of San Francisco and I have also been trying to talk to people that I have met about possible pathways to Nike or Adidas. But while I am doing that I will be up in Portland for the summer coaching youth baseball.


Michael Kinkenon (’15)

“When life throws you a curveball, sit back and drive it the other way.”

1. There have been so many great times, but I’d have to say the most recent would be winning on Senior Day with my entire family there.

2. I hope to leave behind a tradition of family and hard work that all of us seniors worked hard over our four years at LC to establish.

3. My favorite team is the St. Louis Cardinals, and my favorite player is Yadier Molina.

4. Keep working hard and stick together, because success is on the horizon.

5. I’m starting to look for coaching opportunities.


Keean Kondo (’15)

“Success is 1% inspiration, 98% perspiration and 2% attention to detail” -Phil Dunphy

1. I think that getting stuck in Arizona for about 16 hours last year for spring break was my fondest memory at LC baseball. I understand most people would say that’s a strange, negative memory to have. On the contrary, it’s something I’d probably never do with any other people and it reminds me of how we have been like family here.
2. Footprints. Just a memory of how I held myself, how I worked hard, and how I enjoyed the simple things that hopefully can inspire someone else.
3. My favorite team is the San Francisco Giants, and my favorite player is Kirk Rueter.
4. Time and Perspective. The 4 years I have been on the baseball team have gone by quicker than I could have ever imagined, yet I have learned so much about things other than just baseball. Sometimes things won’t make sense, but you have to step back and see the whole picture to understand what’s happening. Don’t regret anything.
5. While I’m waiting for some job responses, I plan on finding a venue and getting everything prepared for my wedding next summer. I then plan on applying for a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology. The sky’s the limit after that.


Ryan Strombom (’15)

“It’s what you get from games you lose that is extremely important.” – Pat Riley

1. My favorite is the bus trip to Arizona during Freshman year.

2. I hope to leave behind a widely respected program with a culture of hard work and playing the game the right way.

3. My favorite team is the San Francisco Giants, and my favorite player is Daniel Descalso.

4. Don’t put yourself in a position where you could think ‘what if?’

5. I’m going to the Galapagos Islands to study rare species of tortoises.


Kyle Tibbett (’15)

“I think I throw the ball as hard as anyone. The ball just doesn’t get there as fast.” – Eddie Bane

1. My favorite memory would definitely be the bus trip to Arizona in freshman year.

2. The effective high changeup (not to be confused with the ineffective high changeup).

3. My favorite player is Jamie Moyer.

4. Hang in there, even if things start to get rough.

5. I’ll be working in Vermont for the VT Department of Fish and Wildlife during the summer. After that, I plan to go to Hiram, OH for a year to live with my girlfriend and work while she finishes her final year of college.


Andrew Traver (’15)

“Life is like box of chocolates…”

1. I think my fondest moment was being stuck in the middle of nowhere for 19 hours.

2. I hope the seniors and I have left the program with the framework to build an elite team.

3. My favorite team is the San Francisco Giants.

4. I’d tell them baseball is a game of failure, learn to cope with it.

5. I’m planning on playing ball in Europe.

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