Baseball state championships preview and schedule

t.cotterill@thenewstribune.comMay 30, 2014 

STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Class 4A baseball semifinals at Gesa Stadium, Pasco

South Kitsap (21-5): The Narrows League champions are back in the final four for a second consecutive season. The Wolves can match power hitting with anybody, led by first baseman Tyler Ludlow (six HR), the 4A Narrows player of the year. Pitching, outside of right-hander Mac McCarty, is thin.

Wenatchee (18-7): The Panthers throttled Big 9 League rival and regular-season champ Moses Lake, 13-3, last week to reach the final four for the first time since 1995. No. 2 hitter Kyle Morrison is batting .407 over his past eight games.

Woodinville (16-7): Staff ace Alex Worthington pitched a one-hit shutout against Todd Beamer in the first round of regionals. The junior has been pitching gems all season (1.90 ERA in 10 starts). Junior Davis Baillie has four home runs and a .343 batting average.

Puyallup (26-0): Junior Luke Heimlich was named Washington state Gatorade player of the year after allowing five earned runs in 68 innings this season (0.51 ERA). But despite Puyallup’s storied history (19 state appearances), the No. 3-ranked team in the nation by MaxPreps hopes this weekend results in the first state title for the Vikings.

Friday: South Kitsap vs. Wenatchee, 10 a.m.; Woodinville vs. Puyallup, 1 p.m.

Saturday: Third-place game, 10 a.m.; Championship game, 4 p.m.

Class 3A baseball semifinals at Gesa Stadium, Pasco

O’Dea (23-2): The Metro League champs are loaded with seniors – 15, to be exact. They are led by Pierre Le Dorze, a Cornell signee who plays a little bit of everything — including quarterback on the football team.

Mount Spokane (20-5): Right-hander Drew Rasmussen will take his low-90s velocity to Oregon State next year, but it was Connor Cantu’s game-ending grand slam against Kennewick in the quarterfinals that lifted the Wildcats to their first state semifinal appearance.

Shorewood (23-3): Who would you want to face — right-handed pitcher Alex Boone, a Washington State University signee, or left-hander Ian Oxnevad, one of the state’s top recruits for 2015? Both pitched complete-game shutouts to get the Thunderbirds to the final four.

Bonney Lake (17-10): Haven’t heard of shortstop Michael Gretler yet? The Oregon State signee is batting .500 (29-for-58) with six home runs, nine doubles and 24 RBIs. He hopes to lead the Panthers, who finished third in the 3A SPSL, to their first state title.

Friday: O’Dea vs. Mount Spokane, 4 p.m.; Shorewood vs. Bonney Lake, 7 p.m.

Saturday: Third-place game, 1 p.m.; Championship game, 7 p.m.

Class 2A baseball semifinals at County Stadium, Yakima

Anacortes (20-4): The co-Northwest Conference champs had no hits in the state quarterfinals against Sumner – and won. Jordan Neville walked, then came around to score on a pair of errors when he tried to steal second. Matt Irving threw a complete-game shutout.

Ellensburg (19-5): Todd Gibson graduated from Ellensburg 14 years after the baseball team’s first and only state semifinal appearance. Now he’s the team’s coach, and the Bulldogs are riding a 10-game win streak into their first final four since 1973.

Tumwater (22-4): Garrett Terrell and Elijah Hill pitched back-to-back complete games to lift the Evergreen Conference champs to the semifinals for the second consecutive year. They hope to claim the school’s first state title in baseball after taking second last season.

Lake Washington (14-7): The Kangaroos are in the final four for the first time in 10 years behind pitcher/first baseman John Lyon. He’s 5-1 with a 0.90 ERA on the mound and hits .424 with 18 RBI at the plate.

Friday: Anacortes vs. Ellensburg, 10 a.m.; Tumwater vs. Lake Washington, 1 p.m.

Saturday: Third-place game, 10 a.m.; Championship game, 4 p.m.

Class 1A baseball semifinals at County Stadium, Yakima

Woodland (24-1): The Hammering Huddlestons? Hunter Huddleston was the 1A Trico Division MVP after hitting .446 with six homers and 42 RBIs. Brother Trevor (pitcher) and cousin Tanner (infielder) were first-team selections. Woodland’s only loss this season was to Hockinson.

Kiona-Benton (16-8): The Bears have the history — five state-title appearances, three championships. But the last time they reached the semifinals was 1997. James Deaton, the staff ace, has a no-hitter on his résumé.

Naches Valley (22-3): The Rangers allowed six hits total in their wins against Freeman and Overlake to propel them to the state semifinals for the sixth time in the past eight years. Coach’s son Cameron Walker pitched a one-hitter.

Rochester (18-6): Don’t expect another 14-inning, 194-pitch outing from Dylan Fosnacht (2-3, 2.16 ERA) like he had in the Southwest District tournament. It garnered plenty of national attention. Meanwhile the team’s ace pitcher is Dustin Wilson (11-1, 1.28 ERA), who also plays catcher.

Friday: Woodland vs. Kiona-Benton, 4 p.m.; Naches Valley vs. Rochester, 7 p.m.

Saturday: Third-place game, 1 p.m.; Championship game, 7 p.m.

State baseball ticket prices: Daily passes are $9 for adults, $7 for students/senior citizens. Tournament passes are $15/$10.

t.cotterill@thenewstribune.com

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