SVC Announces 2014 Baseball Schedule
Skagit Valley College athletics released the 2014 Cardinal baseball schedule. The 38-game regular season schedule features a challenging non-conference schedule that sends the Cards on the road for the first three weekends against 2013 NWAACC tournament participants Pierce, Yakima, and Tacoma. The non-conference schedule is finalized with the first home games of the season on March 22nd versus SW Oregon. The always tough Northern Region schedule will start the weekend of March 29th with Douglas.
2006: Graduate of Bellingham High School, Bellingham, WACoaching:
2007-2013: Bellingham High School
Bryce Vander Ark is entering his first year as an assistant coach at Skagit Valley College. He will primarily work with the team’s catchers. A Chicago native, coach Vander Ark moved to Skagit Valley in 1996 joining Burlington-Edison High School and the Skagit Sox summer organization.
He continued his playing career after high school at Edmonds Community College where he started behind the plate for two years. While at Edmonds he caught several talented pitchers that propelled them into the national rankings as one of the top junior colleges in the country. Bryce credits his coaches at Edmonds for turning him into a very good defensive catcher, a position which he took great pride in playing. He quickly developed a reputation around the league for his defense by throwing out base runners, blocking anything he could get to, and calling a good game. At the plate he hit over .300 during both of his seasons at Edmonds and rarely struck out making him a reliable bat in the offense.
Today, Bryce still carries a strong love for the game of baseball and is very excited to get back into coaching. He lives in Bay View with his family, wife Melea Vander Ark, and their three daughters, Jori Ann(8), Kylee(6), and Alena(3). Bryce has a full time job as the Vice President/Part Owner of a Paraclete Management (2001-present) Transportation Brokerage located here in Mount Vernon. They specialize in liquid bulk shipping, LTL(less than truck load), and full truck load transportation in 48 U.S. states and Canada. They also have offices in Mount Vernon MO, Tampa FL, and Houston TX.
Dusty Hess is entering his first year with the Skagit Valley College baseball program as an assistant coach. Hess will work primarily with the hitters and infielders as well as coaching third base. Hess will also oversee the Cardinal’s strength and conditioning program. He is entering his 8th year of coaching overall with experience at the Division 1, Division II and High School levels. This will be his first stint at a two-year school.
Prior to being hired at Skagit Valley College Hess spent the last three seasons at Northeastern State University (OK) where he was hired by head coach Travis Janssen as the team’s hitting and outfield coach as well the strength coach. In the previous season before Hess and Janssen’s arrival, the NSU baseball program finished with an overall record of 6-36 and went 10 years without a conference playoff berth. In just three years after taking over as a staff (first year NCAA independent), the Riverhawk’s compiled an overall record of 79-75, made two conference playoff appearances, one trip to the conference final four, and had the first consensus All-American in school history (Cody Robinson). While there, Hess coached three players that signed professional contracts (Trevor Walch, Trent Wilkins, Cody Robinson), numerous MIAA all-conference selections, 3 Gold Glove Winners (Chad Davidson, Kyle Singleton, Cody Robinson) and one MIAA freshmen of the year winner (Ryan Helsley).
In 2014 the Riverhawks finished 20-20 in conference play which landed them the #8 seed in the MIAA conference tournament playoffs against #1 seed Central Missouri. The hawk’s would go on to sweep Central Missouri on the road in two games advancing them to the program’s first ever MIAA final four appearance. Senior outfielder Cody Robinson finished the year hitting .349 with 18 homeruns, 19 doubles, 47 RBI’s, and 134 total bases earning him consensus All-America honors.
Casey Mitchell is entering his second year as the pitching coach with the Skagit Valley College baseball program. Outside of his pitching duties, Casey also handles a large part of the recruiting process. Coach Mitchell will be entering his 4th full year of coaching with experience at the Division II and Junior College level.
Before joining the coaching staff at Skagit Valley in 2013, Coach Mitchell spent two years at St. Martin’s University, under head coach Ken Garland. While there, he spent his first year with the St. Martin’s program as an undergraduate assistant working alongside Joe Dominiak, the team’s pitching coach. Following the 2012 season, Coach Mitchell was hired as the Saint’s full time pitching coach by Garland. In his first full season in charge of the pitching staff, Mitchell lowered the team era by almost a full point in the 2013 season. While at SMU, Casey coached 1st Team All-GNAC pitcher Tommy Deboer (LHP) in 2012, honorable mention Brendon Jeffers (RHP) in 2013, as well as NCBWA All-West Region Freshman of the Year Chandler Tracy (Catcher) in 2012. Tracy also went on to receive 2nd Team All-GNAC in 2013.
As a player, Casey pitched his freshman year at Spokane Falls CC in the NWAC, before transferring to St. Martin’s University to finish out his college career. While at SMU, Casey was an integral part of the Saint’s pitching staff and finished his career with numerous GNAC records for his performance. He finished T-14th in career wins, 13th in appearances (54), T-4th in shutouts, 16th in innings pitched (201.2), and 7th in fewest walks per 9 innings (1.70). Casey also finished inside the top 50 across the country for fewest walks per nine innings twice (’09/’11) at the Division II level, and helped the 2011 SMU team set the school record in wins.