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MLS: Lamar Neagle throws out first pitch at Tacoma Rainiers game

Thomas Jefferson graduate Lamar Neagle threw out the first pitch Thursday night at Cheney Stadium before the Tacoma Rainiers game. Neagle went on to score the game-winning goal for the Sounders Sunday in a 2-1 victory. - Courtesy SoundersFC.com
Thomas Jefferson graduate Lamar Neagle threw out the first pitch Thursday night at Cheney Stadium before the Tacoma Rainiers game. Neagle went on to score the game-winning goal for the Sounders Sunday in a 2-1 victory.
— image credit: Courtesy SoundersFC.com

Lamar Neagle has always been known to put in the extra work at training each day to make sure that he is getting the most out of the session.

Last week, though, some of his extra work wasn’t geared toward helping him on the pitch, but rather with pitching, as he was invited to throw out the first pitch at Sounders FC night at Cheney Stadium on Thursday.

“I was ready,” Neagle laughed about his preparation – tossing the ball with his dad and DeAndre Yedlin. “I was definitely ready.”

The Tacoma Rainiers minor league baseball team took on the Tucson Padres donning Sounders FC themed jerseys as part of the night’s festivities. Not only did he throw out the first pitch, but he also signed autographs in the concourse for fans who got out to the game early, including 2,000 that walked away with co-branded Sounders FC and Tacoma Rainiers scarves.

Neagle, who was raised in Federal Way, was also part of a jersey auction with his commemorative Sounders FC-themed Rainiers jersey fetching $500 for the Sounders FC community partners.

“It’s such a good thing to see and it’s cool that we can make this connection between professional sports in the area. And especially with me being from Tacoma, I’ve got a whole host of people upstairs waiting for me, so it’s fun to have family here and they can be a part of it,” he said.

Neagle played baseball, along with basketball and soccer, in his younger days, pitching and playing first base and shortstop before shifting his focus to soccer. The Thomas Jefferson High School product has five goals and three assists in MLS this season, splitting time between the forward position and the left wing. He tallied the game-winning goal during the Sounders' 2-1 win over Chivas USA Sunday.

His pitch at Cheney Stadium was equally impressive.

“The pitch went amazing,” he said. “I might be on the roster tonight – I’ve already got a jersey. If they call me up, I’m ready.”

The Rainiers won the game 6-5 on a walk-off home run in the 10th inning by Rich Poythress, running their record to 59-47. In total, the jersey auction, which featured the jerseys of every Rainiers player and coach along with Neagle, raised $7,110, which will be distributed among America SCORES Seattle, Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue and King County, Special Olympics Washington, Washington Global Health Alliance and Washington Youth Soccer.

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