MERCER ISLAND, Wash — Junior golfer and baseball pitcher Evan Otte helped Mercer Island High School to quite the ending to its high school sports season, winning two state championships in two different sports in less than a week.
"I've never heard of it,” said Mercer Island golf coach Tyson Peters. “It's remarkable. I mean for somebody to go out and in his case win two state championships in four days and traveling across the state twice. It's just an amazing story.”
Otte has a sweet swing, but he hasn't been playing golf for long. During the pandemic, he learned how to play.
"Two years ago, May 6, I picked up a golf club for the first time, because we couldn't play any other sports,” Otte said. “We couldn't play baseball. The only thing open was golf, and I'm like I'll play that, and I just fell in love with golf right away.”
Last fall, Otte made the varsity team. The Islanders qualified for state but had to wait until May for the tournament.
For multisport athletes that can be a challenge.
"Players oftentimes get stuck in the mix where they play a spring sport and then all of a sudden, they're having to balance the time and it becomes very difficult for those kids," said Peters.
Otte was one of those kids. When he's not putting, he's pitching for the Mercer Island baseball team.
"He does a very good job of throwing strikes and keeping hitters off-balance," said Mercer Island baseball coach Dominic Woody.
Otte is one of Mercer Island's top pitchers, but before the Islanders played in the state semifinals, Otte had to compete in the state golf tournament.
"So, I had to just forget about baseball for a week and just focus on golf,” Otte said.
Otte and the Islanders dominated and brought home only the second golf team title in school history.
"They went out all five of them and just played lights out and really ran away with the tournament," said Peters.
Three days later, Otte started in the state championship baseball game against Kennewick. Mercer Island won 8-4, and Otte was the winning pitcher.
"I mean, just the one championship is crazy enough for me,” Woody said. “I can't imagine how he feels experiencing both in such a short time.”
What's even more amazing is Otte's journey.
On May 21, Otte pitched against Auburn. Then he had a late golf practice on Mercer Island.
On May 22, he joined his golf teammates and headed to Spokane for three days of golf. On May 25, Otte shot a 73 and his team won the title.
That night, he went back to Mercer Island.
On May 26, he took a test at school, met his baseball team and headed to Pasco. The team played May 27 and 28, culminating in the baseball state championship game.
Otte returned home May 29.
"It was much harder than I expected,” Otte said. “And it's also tough to keep up schoolwork at the end of the year, and I just grinded the past couple of weeks, and it was good.”