For Rob Reese, the celebration will have to wait. Issaquah’s baseball coach picked up his 300th win over the weekend, but his current focus remains helping his young roster mature.
When asked about the milestone, which he hit after a 9-1 victory over Sedro-Woolley Saturday, Reese laughed.
“It means I’ve been here a long time and had great players, basically,” he said.
In his 18th season at Issaquah, Reese has led the Eagles to three state titles (2000, 2004, 2007 — all in 3A).
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s pretty cool for the kids and the coaches to say they were a part of that. I’m not a really big counter of that, but people are, with the websites and all that. I’m worried about winning every game.”
The Eagles (2-4), who have just three seniors, lost their first four games to quality opponents.
“Typically at Issaquah we have double-digit seniors every year,” Reese said. “From courtesy runner to our best player. This year, the numbers, the senior class just wasn’t there. It forces us to play a lot of young guys and it forces our bench to be young. There’s nothing like experience. Everybody thinks they’re varsity players, but until you do it, that’s the key. The game is faster. They pitch harder. The hitters are tougher. It’s just a lot different than JV.”
Issaquah’s last loss came against third-ranked Newport, but despite the disappointment in the final score, it was a step in the right direction, since the Eagles took a scoreless tie into the seventh inning.
Since that 1-0 setback, the Eagles have won two straight.
“I’m hoping we’ve kind of turned the corner,” Reese said.
Issaquah will find out just how far it has come Wednesday when it takes on second-ranked Redmond.