Peninsula High grad Shane Hanon spent last season playing baseball at Edmonds Community College. So when he received a 10-day contract with the West Coast League’s Bellingham Bells team, few probably expected him to stick around. After all, the West Coast League is littered with Division-I baseball players.
Now, all Hanon is doing is leading the whole league in batting with a .343 average. He has one home run, eight doubles, 11 RBI, eight walks and 10 stolen bases so far in the season.
“It’s been a good summer,” Hanon said.
That’s an understatement. Hanon’s summer earned him a spot on the West Coast League All-Star roster, and a visit to Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Hanon, a redshirt sophomore, verbally committed to the Thundering Herd on Tuesday.
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“It’s a good program in Conference USA,” Hanon said. “I like the feel of the place. I just enjoy it.”
He compared it to Pullman, Washington. The Thundering Herd are not only getting a player who is leading the West Coast League in batting this summer, but also a player with a big chip on his shoulder.
“There was somebody telling you that you weren’t good enough at one point,” Hanon said. “It feels great to be a community college guy and do well in the West Coast League. Everyone wants to get to the next level, play at the best level we can. We’re all trying to do that.”
Hanon is joined by some other locals in the West Coast League, including former Peninsula teammate Garrett Smith, a pitcher for the Kitsap BlueJackets, and Mike Toglia, a UCLA signee and Gig Harbor High grad playing for the Wenatchee AppleSox.
“It’s been really cool (playing against local guys),” Hanon said. “Garrett has been a good friend since high school, so it’s cool to see him on the mound.”
Toglia was also named to the West Coast League All-Star roster. While Hanon and Toglia knew of each other, the All-Star game was actually their first time meeting each other in person.
“It was cool to finally meet the guy, especially with all the respect he’s gotten in the baseball world,” Hanon said. “To be up there with Michael, putting Gig Harbor on the map was pretty cool.”
Hanon went 1-for-4 in the All-Star game with a walk and a stolen base. The 6-foot-2 center fielder hopes to make an impact for Marshall next season.
“We want to make it to regionals, see what we can do there,” Hanon said. “Be atop Conference USA. Hopefully, Marshall baseball will be out there more. My personal goal is to do the best I can and hopefully end up getting drafted (in the MLB draft).”