Best friends Spencer Uyematsu and Yui Suzuki’s journey from second grade to senior year has been a special one. They’ve helped each other on and off the field and are excited to see where the Redmond High baseball team will end up in the 4A KingCo pack when the dust has cleared on the basepaths.
Both guys have given the varsity squad a boost for the last three years under the tutelage of head coach Dan Pudwill and his staff. The squad was 4-3 in league and 6-3 overall at press time.
In recent games, Uyematsu had two hits in one contest and he homered and tripled in another matchup, which included teammates Hunter Petit and Colin Curry nailing two hits each.
“Our bats look really good this year. We’re hitting all the way through the order. I think that will help us a lot,” said second baseman Uyematsu, who added that the team’s defense and pitching staff of Duncan Warriner, Landon Thompson, Shane Melrose and Ryan Rembisz are solid. “Every game, they’re gonna give us a chance to win,” Uyematsu noted about the hurlers.
Camaraderie and communication have been vital to the Redmond program, and Uyematsu said the team’s leaders want to make sure the Mustangs have a handle on their jobs and remain confident along the way.
“You just want everybody that thinks they can beat every team every game that you play,” said Uyematsu, who will continue his baseball path at Pomona Pitzer College in California next season. In the classroom, he’s interested in the engineering, biology and medical fields, but he’s not sure which direction he’s headed in yet.
Suzuki, who attends Tesla STEM High in Redmond before heading over to RHS for baseball action, displays a stellar glove in center field as evidenced by copious diving catches.
“That’s definitely fun when I get to do that,” said Suzuki, with Uyematsu adding that it’s a normal thing for his buddy to provide some flash.
It’s been fun playing with the RHS squad alongside all the guys he’s grown up with, and Suzuki feels his role has changed since he first stepped foot on the varsity scene.
“First year, I was really learning from all the upperclassmen; last year, I was trying to really integrate myself; and this year, maybe lead by example,” said Suzuki, who will study engineering in college next year.
The Reporter asked Uyematsu and Suzuki a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives:
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
Uyematsu: Mike Trout.
Suzuki: Coach (Matt) Everham (Redmond High assistant coach).
What special skill would you like to learn?
Uyematsu: I’d like to learn how to juggle. It would be cool.
Suzuki: I’d like to learn how to draw.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Uyematsu: My dad showing me how to work hard, on the field and at school.
Suzuki: My brother sort of leading the path for me and showing me what kind of things are out there for me.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
Uyematsu: Purple Cafe (in Woodinville).
Suzuki: I really like Dick’s burgers.
What’s something unique about yourself that someone doesn’t know?
(They answered about each other.)
Suzuki: Spencer is a quarter Japanese. That’s where he has his last name.
Uyematsu: And I’m color blind.
Uyematsu: Yui has a really broad taste in music.
So you guys are tight, good friends? What does it take to make for a good friendship?
Uyematsu: Yui and I have spent a lot of time together. We’ve played a lot of baseball together, we play summer ball together, too, and we’ve been friends since second grade. I think that not only is he always there for me, he pushes me to work harder and be better.
Suzuki: When I first came in second grade, when I became friends with him, I didn’t know how to speak English at all, and I think he really helped me in that regard. And also just playing baseball with him and pushing each other as well.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Uyematsu: “Good Will Hunting.”
Suzuki: “Catch Me If You Can.”