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Coveted Lynden senior pitcher to join Bellingham Bells this summer

UW-commit Lane Simonsen is No. 2-ranked 2024 RHP in Washington

Lynden’s Lane Simonsen reaches for the throw to first Tuesday, March 19 as Lynden Christian’s Eli Maberry beats the throw during a win over the Lyncs at Lynden High School. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)
By Connor J. Benintendi Sports Editor

Lynden senior right-handed pitcher Lane Simonsen will fulfill a childhood dream this summer when he dons a Bellingham Bells jersey for the first time.

The Bells announced on March 12 that Simonsen, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound University of Washington commit, is set to join their West Coast League roster ahead of his freshman season with the Huskies. He is the No. 2-ranked right-hander in Washington’s Class of 2024, according to Perfect Game.

“I always grew up watching the Bells,” Simonsen said. “Joe Martin [Field] is such a cool place to play … it’s a great atmosphere.”

Bells General Manager Stephanie Morrell said she initially contacted Mike Gange, UW baseball’s current recruiting coordinator and former Bells head coach, to discuss bringing Simonsen in. The established relationship between Gange and the Bells helped the process move quickly.

Lynden senior pitcher Lane Simonsen shouts after the game-ending out is recorded.
Lynden senior pitcher Lane Simonsen shouts after the game-ending out is recorded May 26, 2023, during the Lions’ state semifinal win over Selah at Joe Martin Stadium. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)

Gange also trusted Morrell and the Bells organization to take good care of his incoming prospect right after Simonsen finishes his final high school season.

Lane Simonsen has been a Bellingham Bells fan since he was a child. (Photo courtesy of Lane Simonsen)

Then, there was the fact Morrell had been familiar with Simonsen for many years and was fond of his talent, considering the senior committed to the Huskies in 2020 before he even began high school.

“I’m always kind of wanting to know who the best baseball players are in Whatcom County, like five years down the road, right?” Morrell said. “Lane, obviously, has been on our radar for a long time … to play as an incoming freshman in the West Coast League, or to be able to compete, you have to be a pretty high-end player.”

Simonsen, a two-time Northwest Conference Pitcher of the Year, said it was an “easy yes” once Morrell reached out to gauge his interest.

The Bells’ season begins on Friday, May 31 — eight days before Lynden High School’s graduation. Simonsen can not officially join the team until he graduates, so his first opportunity to be game-eligible would be on Saturday, June 8 against the Ridgefield Raptors.

In the meantime, he can go to the games and be in the dugout, but just can’t suit up.

Last season, Simonsen’s Lynden team played in the 2A state championship game at Joe Martin Field on May 27, 2023, mere days before the Bells began their summer campaign. If history repeats itself, Simonsen won’t need any time to adjust to his new home field.

“I’ve actually been playing there since my little league days,” Simonsen said of Joe Martin Field. “I love that field. It’s kind of one of the first true baseball fields that I was ever at.”

Simonsen said he is viewing the experience as a way to get ahead before his first collegiate season. He will also have a few future Husky teammates with him on the Bells’ roster in right-handed pitcher Ethan Unruh and catcher Colton Bower (so far).

Each WCL team is limited to 10 incoming freshmen on its roster per season. So, even if Simonsen was only with the team for a month, the Bells would only be able to bring in nine more throughout the summer season.

Junior pitcher Lane Simonsen delivers a pitch May 26, 2023, during the 2A state playoffs against Selah at Joe Martin Field. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)

“Generally, we take those incoming freshmen from the programs that we have the closest, best relationships with,” Morrell said.

While Simonsen already has at least the next few months of his baseball career planned out, he is trying to stay focused on pursuing a state championship after falling one win short a season ago.

“That’s still the goal right now,” Simonsen said. “I’m not looking too far into the future. I still want to focus on being a Lion right now, but I’m just so thankful for the opportunity.”

Connor J. Benintendi is CDN’s sports editor; reach him at; 360-922-3090 ext. 104.

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