Community Sports

Gig Harbor atop league baseball standings

Posted on April 14th, 2023 By:

The Gig Harbor baseball team took over first place in the South Sound Conference after beating previous league leader Timberline, 10-5, on Tuesday, April 11.

The Tides (6-4, 6-1 South Sound Conference) began the Shane Hanon era this year after longtime coach Pete Jensen retired following a career that included three state championships with Gig Harbor. Hanon is a 2014 Peninsula High graduate who played collegiately at Edmonds Community College and NCAA Division I Marshall University in West Virginia.

New coach

Hanon was an assistant for the Tides last year.

“Taking over this program is one heck of an opportunity. Pete had a great tenure and left us in a great place,” he said. “With the turnover it’s more about building on top of the previous success and implementing our own culture, not necessarily reinventing the wheel.”

The Tides have notched six early wins in the competitive SSC. Their three non-league losses were at the hands of 4A powers Richland, Sumner and Prairie.

Hanon said he wanted to “make sure to seek out some of the top teams in the state for non-league games, so our guys know what state-level teams look like.”

Brady Altman of Gig Harbor rounds third base against River Ridge. Photo by Bryce Carithers


Josh Dunham leads the team in several categories, hitting .429 with 12 hits, three triples, two home runs, and 13 RBI while scoring 14 runs.

“J.D. is off to a great start,” Hanon said. “He gained 30 pounds in the off-season and really made the gym a priority. It’s great to see his work showing on the field and to see him step up for us the way he has.”

The Tides are also getting fine performances from talented senior Chase Pringle, who is smooth at second base and has shown pop at the plate. He is batting .393 with 11 hits, two triples, eight RBI and 10 runs scored.

Junior Ryland Heckman has been productive, batting .333 with nine hits, two triples, six RBI and nine runs. He is also an effective pitcher.

“Heckman is a guy that we expect to impact the game offensively and on the mound. He’s been doing most of his damage with the bat so far but we expect him to fill that closer role and shut games down,” Hanon said.


The first overall thing that jumps out about the Tides is their team athleticism. They have a impressive collection of size, speed and power in their line up. Their explosive defenders cover a lot of ground in the outfield and their infielders routinely handle hot shots with ease. They combine talented hitters, a capable pitching staff and quality depth — including four talented sophomores who are pushing their teammates for playing time.

The Tides are stingy on defense. Third baseman Heckman displays a strong, accurate throwing arm. Sophomore shortstop Jayce Corley combines quick feet with soft hands. Pringle at second and Nick Lang at first base round out the infield.

Senior centerfielder Brady Altman has the speed and arm strength to turn opponents’ doubles into singles. He was one of the team leaders at the plate last year.

“Altman is off to a similar start this year as he was last year,” Hanon said. “It takes him a few games to get his bat going, but once he does he can take over a game. He’s been on barrel the last few games and once he’s on base, it’ll only be a few pitches before he finds his way to third.”

Playing the outfield at Sehmel Park can be an adventure. Players have to locate balls in blinding direct sunlight and deal with Carr Inlet’s swirling winds. Visiting teams sometimes struggle there, but the Tides are used to the conditions and efficient at dealing with the elements.

Leftfielder Dunham and rightfielder Cooper McCutcheon flank Altman in the Tides outfield.

Cole Krilich and Cutter Peterson share catching duties. Peterson is a fine defensive catcher with a strong arm and Krilich has legitimate home run power after spending extensive time in the weight room.

Last year’s starting catcher, Sam Haddon, is out with an injury.

Gig Harbor is off to a 6-1 league start this season.

Pitching staff

Senior Derrick Cosmos leads the Gig Harbor pitching staff. He keeps hitters off balance by changing speeds and induces groundouts with his low fastball. The are at their best when he can get to the fourth or fifth inning before the hard-throwing relievers take over.

Hanon says Cosmos is “one of the best pitchers in the league,” but  “we have great options out of the pen that will take the burden off of him if he doesn’t have his best stuff that day.”

Those relievers include Heckman, Ryan Vorpahl and Brendan Masini.

Several underclassmen play prominent roles for the Tides.

“I am very excited for our sophomore class,” Hanon said. “We have four on varsity this year that deserve to be here and can make an impact on the game. Cole Krilich, Daniel Porras, Wesley Bonicci and Jayce Corley have all shown their talents so far this year.”