Pasco's Lochridge married to his sport

By Kevin Anthony, Herald staff writerMarch 26, 2010 

Seth Lochridge's to-do list reads like any other that one might find on a high school athlete.

There's the usual stuff, like being the go-to guy on the Pasco baseball team and pulling down a 3.0 GPA in the classroom.

There's the part-time job at Grigg's Department Store in Pasco -- just weekends during the season, he said.

And then there's that other thing ... planning for his wedding in a couple of months.

OK, so not like everyone else's.

But yes, the Bulldogs' standout shortstop will add the title "husband" to a growing résumé that includes four-year starter and two-time CBBN second-teamer.

"Last year I fell in love with a girl and we're going to get married," Lochridge said of his fiance Kylie Lynch, who graduated from Pasco last fall.

"We're both going to go to Central (Washington), and the great thing about it is she fully supports me in baseball and knows I'm trying to go (somewhere) with baseball, and she's behind me 100 percent."

Talk to those who know Lochridge, and they have no doubt he'll make it all work.

"He's a coach's dream," said Gary Jonas, who coached Lochridge from the eighth grade on until moving over from Pasco to Chiawana this spring. "What it is, he's that junkie who just lives and breathes the game. He has a great attitude -- you can pick any cliché you want, and it talks about Seth.

"If there was one kid I could have brought with me (to Chiawana), it was Seth."

Jonas and Scott Estes, who took over at Pasco after spending four years as an assistant, got a good look at Lochridge early on.

After playing for Jonas in junior American Legion ball as an eighth-grader, Lochridge was moved up to the varsity early in his freshman season and became a stalwart at short.

"Every kid who's been in Seth's grade since the eighth grade knew no one was going to play shortstop but him," Estes said.

"He's the leader of the team. A lot of kids look to him to find out what's right and what's wrong before they ask me. And he tows a pretty straight-and-narrow rope. He's not a kid who goes out and goes partying on the weekends -- he's not doing dumb stuff. He's a pretty straight arrow."

Lochridge has gone out of his way to make sure another pair of freshmen, T.J. Avery and Luis Murillo, have an easy transition to playing on the varsity this season.

"I think the biggest thing about being a freshman on the varsity is getting involved with the senior kids," he said. "Going to team dinners, hanging out with the older kids. It helps a lot, weaves you in."

Lochridge was named Pasco's top defensive player as a freshman, and added second-team all-league honors as a sophomore and junior. Last year he hit .471 with 14 RBIs and six stolen bases on a team that wasn't an offensive juggernaut.

Indeed, Lochridge has only gotten a taste of the postseason in his time at Pasco, which went from winless in 2005 the year before he arrived to coming up just short of regionals in 2008.

It left him hungry for more. And while playing baseball at CWU might be Job No. 1 -- he doesn't have that locked down yet -- getting back to the postseason is right there with it.

"I'm just hoping to make districts," he said. "Once you get into the playoffs, it's game by game -- whoever plays the best, whoever gets those lucky shots."

Who knows, maybe he'll have to send out a few "save the date" cards for state as well.

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