HEAD IN THE GAME Saxons' Talented Catcher Will Play Baseball for University of Hawaii

Article excerpt

Ferris catcher Alex Jondal leaned over the plate, holding the bat high in his long arms.

He readied himself for the pitch from Mead's Justin Dolezal. But the ball got away and plunked Jondal, who didn't flinch before he took off for first base.

With one out and his team trailing by a run on Tuesday, coach Jim Sharkey gave Jondal the green light. The kid, who stands on the tall side of 6-foot-3, took off running and slid to beat the throw to second base.

His Saxons teammates all stood up and began to cheer and clap as Jondal dusted himself off.

Asked why his team cheered, Jondal answered without pausing: "Because I'm not the fastest player in the world."

He paused, his face contorted in thought, and continued. "That's my first stolen base in my four years here."

It's been four years with plenty of accolades in the Greater Spokane League.

Playing behind All-GSL catcher Ryan Krustangel, Jondal played in the outfield as a freshman and was picked on the All-GSL second team.

He then went back to his favorite position and has been the reigning All-GSL catcher for the last two years.

In the bottom of the fifth inning on Tuesday, Ferris' Tim Yoshihara reached on an error and Tanner Parker hit a soft fly to center field for a single. Reich then elected to walk Jondal to load the bases.

"He's a work horse," Mead coach Jason Reich said of Jondal. "He can carry that team. That's why we intentionally walked him."

In stats compiled as of last weekend, Jondal was hitting .359, with five doubles, a home run and 14 runs batted in. His play also caught the notice of college recruiters. …