Young ballplayer takes on the nation’s best

Noah Seabrands of Enumclaw recently traveled to Florida

Enumclaw youngster Noah Seabrands took to the diamond recently against some of the best baseball players in the nation.

The 11-year-old infielder/pitcher, who will enter fifth grade next week at Westwood Elementary School, recently followed an athletic path that took him from Enumclaw to Orlando, Fla.

Seabrands, who has played baseball locally in the Mount Rainier association, started his journey by taking part in a USSSA “showcase” at the Sprinker athletic complex in Spanaway. The event – designed as a pro-style combine – took place May 15 and tested young athletes’ ability to throw, hit, run and play defense.

Part of a program operated by the United States Specialty Sports Association, the showcase highlighted players in six divisions, from the 9-and-younger set to 14-and-younger. Seabrands, who recently turned 11, participated in the U-10 division.

At the conclusion of all showcases – there were eight scattered throughout the United States – a handful of players were chosen from each age group to compete in the USSSA All-American Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. The Northwest showcase was open to players from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Northern California and British Columbia.

Seabrands had been tabbed as one of the region’s “top performers” following the May showcase. He and a select field of others then heard their names called during a webcast originating from the Hall of Fame studios in Kississimi, Fla., meaning they were headed to Florida.

Seabrands was accompanied by his family to Orlando for a series of all-star games, played Aug. 2-7 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex adjacent to Walt Disney World Resort. Seabrands and his Northwest teammates faced tough competition, winning one of four games. He played most of his innings at shortstop but played one game at third, spent half a game at second base and added some pitching duties.