Former Laguna Beach High baseball standout Nathan Pickett is part of the British Columbia-based Kelowna Falcons baseball team, which is participating in summer collegiate postseason play.
The Falcons are in the midst of the East Division finals of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League against the Wenatchee Applesox of Washington. The league is a summer wood bat league that showcases college prospects.
Pickett started the second game of the three-game series Wednesday. He threw two innings before being relieved in a game the Falcons lost, 4-2, in Washington. Pickett had entered the game with the team’s lowest ERA (2.76) during the regular season.
In the opener of the three-game division finals Tuesday, Wenatchee scored two runs in the ninth inning to take the lead and go on to a 5-3 victory.
Pickett is one of 11 pitchers for the Falcons and one of two Orange County players in that group. Jeff Roth of Huntington Beach also is on the pitching roster.
Pickett, who was part of Laguna’s 2007 graduation class, played for then-Breakers Coach Dave Dopf. During his senior year, the 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher was the strikeout leader (91) in Orange County. He was team MVP and all-league in his final year at Laguna.
Pickett was recruited to play baseball at Cal State Los Angeles and last year started as a freshman. The Golden Eagles posted a final record of 29-22 for their third consecutive winning season, a first for the program since 1966-68.
Kelowna clinched second place in the league standings last weekend to set up a playoff series with Wenatchee.
The postseason playoffs conclude Tuesday.
The West Coast Collegiate Baseball League is composed of East Division teams Kelowna and Washington state teams Wenatchee, Spokane RiverHawks and Moses Lake Pirates and West Division teams Corvallis Knights and Bend Elks of Oregon and Kitsap BlueJackets and Bellingham Bells of Washington.
"” Mike Sciacca