High School Sports

Baseball primer: Kentwood, Sumner, Fife, Vashon one win away from reaching state championship games

Ben Wadowski and his Kentwood teammates face Woodinville in a 4A semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday.
Ben Wadowski and his Kentwood teammates face Woodinville in a 4A semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday. The Peninsula Gateway


At Gesa Stadium, Pasco

Skyline (17-8): After surviving an ultra-competitive conference slog, the Spartans find themselves inches away from a state title. Dax Kringle and Connor Knutson provide the offensive punch for Skyline. Kringle has hit .392 this season, with 23 RBIs and seven extra-base hits. Knutson was right behind with a .348 average and 16 RBIs.

Wenatchee (23-0): The Panthers didn’t just win this season. No, they won in dominating fashion. Wenatchee’s record is blemish-free headed into the state semifinal game. At one point, the Panthers recorded five consecutive shutouts, and they allowed only 26 runs the entire season.

Woodinville (19-6): After narrowly taking the 4A KingCo title, the Falcons are one game away from the state final. The road wasn’t easy. After losing in the district title game, they had to pull out a 4-3 nail-biter to make the state tournament in a loser-out game. Nolan McCafferty provides the pop for Woodinville, with 12 extra-base hits and a .360 average.

Kentwood (23-5): Jordan Jones has been nothing short of phenomenal this season, leading the Conquerors in their playoff run. He won 10 games this season, and has not lost a start since his sophomore year. He has 97 strikeouts in 61 innings for the Conks, reducing the workload for hitters Issac Hegamin and Shane McGuire, both batting above .400.

Friday: Skyline vs. Wenatchee, 4 p.m.; Woodinville vs. Kentwood, 7 p.m.

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


At Gesa Stadium, Pasco

Lake Washington (22-2): The Kangaroos’ two losses both came at the hands of Mercer Island. That didn’t stop Lake Washington, which triumphed over Mercer Island, 1-0, in the district final. The Kangaroos rode that momentum to the state semifinal, winning their first two playoff games by a combined 14-2.

Southridge (21-5): The Mercer Island team that Lake Washington beat in the district final is the same team that the Suns beat en route to a semifinal berth. Southridge pounded Mercer Island, 11-1. After that, the Suns edged Lynnwood, 2-1.

Lakeside (21-4): The Lions had to battle their way to the state tournament after losing a semifinal game in the district tournament earlier this month. However, they managed to turn a three seed into a substantial playoff run. Lakeside is a dangerous offensive team, racking up more than eight runs per game. The Lions won their first two state tournament games 6-0 and 7-3, respectively.

Sumner (20-6): The road to the state semifinal certainly was bumpy for the Spartans. They had to win two loser-out games for a chance to play for the fifth seed, which they captured. And they kept winning tight games to advance in the state tournament. The Spartans will ride Ben Wilson, who hit 12 doubles and drove in 21 runs while batting .470 this season.

Friday: Lake Washington vs. Southridge, 10 a.m.; Lakeside vs. Sumner, 1 p.m.

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


At County Stadium, Yakima

Ellensburg (19-5): The CWAC contained a lot of strong teams, meaning the Bulldogs’ road to the state semifinal was more strenuous than most. Ellensburg advanced by grinding out and winning close games. The Bulldogs have allowed only 41 runs this season. Their opponent in the semifinal game is all too familiar.

Selah (23-1): It will be a rivalry game, teeming with tension for the Vikings as they take on Ellensburg. Selah holds the edge in the season series, sweeping Ellensburg in three games. One of those came in the district tournament. All have been close, however. Still, Selah is a dominant team, allowing only 29 runs during the season.

Fife (21-3): The Trojans fell short of winning the district title, but coach Shane Nixon saw it as a blessing in disguise. It allowed his team to play its first state tournament games in pristine weather on a perfect turf field. Tanner Knapp is the player to watch for fireworks. The Seattle University-signee won his second league MVP. He knocked in 23 runs and had four doubles.

Cedarcrest (16-9): It wasn’t a dominant season for the Red Wolves, but they scratched and clawed their way to the state semifinal. They’ve done it with outstanding postseason pitching. They have allowed at total of five runs in their five playoff games (district and state). They will turn to ace Aaron Davenport, who touts a 1.51 ERA.

Friday: Ellensburg vs. Selah, 10 a.m.; Fife vs. Cedarcrest, 1 p.m.

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


At Yakima County Stadium, Yakima

Hoquiam (15-5): The Grizzlies didn’t win their district title, but have managed to make a deep run in the state tournament. They enter the semifinal on a roll, winning seven of their last eight games. Hoquiam aims to win its second consecutive state title.

Freeman (21-3): The Scotties mostly rolled over their opponents this season, but battled through two tough games to land in the semifinal. The first was a 13-inning marathon against Zillah. The Scotties never have won a state title, and lost in last year’s semifinal to this year’s opponent: Hoquiam.

Overlake/Bear Creek (22-3): The Owls rolled this season, but hit adversity in the district tournament with an early loss. That didn’t stop them from reaching the state semifinal after a couple of big wins, one coming in extra innings. Opponents might consider pitching around Matt Kelleran, who has been sensational this season. He is hitting .481, with 31 RBIs, seven doubles and six triples.

Vashon Island (18-6): The Pirates fell short of a district title when they dropped a tight decision to Cascade Christian, a school they had beaten three times previously. The Pirates still reached the state tournament and will try to beat the team that knocked out Cascade Christian in the first round.

Friday: Hoquiam vs. Freeman, 4 p.m.; Overlake vs. Vashon Island, 7 p.m.

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