Series brings baseball, business to Pullman

Eight tournaments for different age groups take place during summer, event aims to boost local economy



Pierce County Diamond Jaxx pitcher Cole Benson, 18, throws a pitch in the 17-and-under championship game July 8 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

The crack of the bat can be heard echoing beneath the brilliant pink Palouse sunsets on any given night, as the current generation of players add their names to the 126-year-old legacy of baseball at WSU.

The Palouse Summer Series has given kids the opportunity to compete at college venues like Bailey-Brayton Field for the past 15 years.

Scott Parrish, series owner and director for the past eight years, said the tournament is distinct in what it provides its participants.

“The thing that makes it the most unique is getting to play on WSU’s Bailey-Brayton Field and having the opportunity to play in front of the WSU coaches,” Parrish said.

The series was created to bring in high level talent from around the state and help the Pullman economy during the summer months, Parrish said.

Throughout the summer, eight separate tournaments take place, ranging in age groups from 14-and-under to 19-and-under. The year’s series began June 1 and wraps up July 22.

Some weekends the series uses up to three fields, including McDonald Park in Colfax, Harris Field at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston and Bailey-Brayton Field.

Dean Pierce, head coach of the Pierce County Diamond Jaxx, who won the 17-and-under championship July 8, said he entered his team as soon as they were old enough to play and have participated each of the last three years.

“The director and staff at the [series] put on what I believe to be one of the best events in Washington,” Pierce said. “We have participated in way too many events to count or remember and the players and families, I believe, will always remember playing in the [series].”

Parrish estimated he needs up to 30 workers for the summer series to assist in a variety of tasks, including field maintenance and selling apparel.

Pierce said his players and their parents never get tired of playing in the series.

“It is truly an amazing experience to see the kids’ expressions the first time they step on the field,” Pierce said. “We had several kids that this was their third time playing and they were just as excited this time as the first. The parents enjoy the experience as much as the kids. It’s not often you get play on a major college campus.”