PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles’ Wyatt Hall already feels comfortable in his new digs at Skagit Valley College’s aptly named Dream Field.
Playing in the Nate Steffens Memorial Tournament last weekend in Mount Vernon, Hall, who signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the Cardinals earlier this month, put up a tournament MVP-style performance as Wilder Senior won the championship on Hall’s walk-off single Sunday.
All told, Hall went 10 for 16 at the plate with two doubles, five runs scored and nine RBI over the five-game tournament.
He also went deep on the mound in a semifinal win in front of his new Skagit Valley head coach Shane Servoss, tossing 6 1/3 innings, scattering six hits and allowing one earned run and two walks while striking out two in a 3-1 win.
“Wyatt is going to be an infielder, but he gave his college coach a new idea, a different possibility [as a pitcher],” Wilder head coach Zac Moore said.
Hall earned a starting spot on the Port Angeles High School team and Wilder Senior as a sophomore, manning the hot corner at third base and making difficult plays look routine in the field.
“I coached him on Wilder Junior when he was 15, and at that time, he was all over the place in the infield, and I knew early on he was going to be a standout,” Moore said.
“He’s always had a great swing and a great stick. Wyatt understands the little things; he does the little things a little better than everybody else. He also has a very high baseball IQ, which helps him stay in the game and stay in the play.”
Hall also has impressed Port Angeles head coach and Wilder assistant Casey Dietz time and again.
“Wyatt was a phenomenal player for us,” Dietz said. “He brought a steady approach offensively, knew what he wanted to do with bat in his hand. He had a smooth swing that was apparent as a sophomore, and he came up and started at third on the varsity, and he stood out immediately with his ability to field and play a high level of defense. He was able to play a premier position at the varsity level, and it looked like he had been there for years.”
Hall lost out on his junior season due to the pandemic but moved to what’s likely the most important defensive position, shortstop, with ease this spring.
“Didn’t get a chance to see him junior year, but the versaility to go from third base, miss a year and go play shortstop, the premier position, and handle that in stride is impressive,” Dietz said.
Many colleges have allowed athletes an extra year of eligibility due to COVID, causing an overload on rosters across many sports and making the recruitment process that much harder for Class of 2021 graduates.
“We are seeing it here — kids not getting options to play because community colleges are holding 45 to 50 players on rosters,” Moore said. “We always knew Wyatt was going to get the opportunity to play; it just became who was going to give him the chance.”
A visit to Skagit Valley and meeting with Servoss quickly yielded an offer of a roster spot along with some athletic scholarship funds, and Hall unburdened himself by making his decision during tennis season.
“I knew pretty much all along that I wanted to play college baseball,” Hall said. “Sophomore year, I started the process but not being able to play junior year had me worried I wouldn’t be able to find a spot anywhere. So for what I went through from junior year to this year, I’d say I’m in a pretty good spot.
“Figuring out where I wanted to go was a lot of weight off my shoulders,” Hall said.
And Moore believes Hall has the potential to keep playing post-Skagit Valley.
“It’s endless with him. If he really gets in the weight room and gets after it, he could potentially play for another couple years,” Moore said.
Hall had plenty of people to thank for their help in reaching the next level.
“Definitely my mom [Amy Hall] and dad [Ike Hall], for sure, Zac Moore, all my high school coaches, coach [Karl] Myers, coach Dietz, coach [Larsson] Chapman,” Hall said. “Kevin Miller, my Little League coach, and all those who supported me.”
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected] dailynews.com.