The surprising East Valley baseball team finds itself in an enviable position entering the final week of the league season.
A sweep of last week’s games, 7-2 over Cheney and 12-3 and 1-0 over Clarkston, moved the Knights from fourth into first place in league.
Not that a one-game lead over Colville is a sure thing. West Valley is EV’s final foe in a Saturday doubleheader and the Eagles have given the Knights fits over the years.
The Eagles, on Tuesday, rode Jason Phillipe’s pitching and Brian Lawler’s hitting right back into the playoff and title picture with a 10-0 rout of Clarkston.
Phillipe hurled the one-hit shutout and Lawler had three hits, including his fourth and fifth home runs of the year. Four of the dingers came this week.
EV is 12-4, Colville 11-5, the Eagles, Cheney and Clarkston are all 10-6.
The outcome of Saturday’s WV-EV and Colville-Clarkston twin bills could produce endless possibilities, including the potential for a four-way tie for first place.
“It could be a big-time mess, or we could take care of business and not have to worry about it,” said Knight coach Kurt Krauth.
Going into last week EV was in fourth place. But a pair of excellent pitching efforts by Steve Pipkin, who had been struggling this year, and a route-going win by Paul McDavid did the trick.
“We played great last week,” said Krauth. “They pitched well, played defense and hit the ball pretty well.” EV built a 7-0 lead against Cheney on Pipkin’s six-innings of work.
“The wind was blowing hard and it affected Cheney defensively more than us,” said Krauth.
In Clarkston he threw a nine-inning shutout, won on Mike Wall’s towering home run.
Parity extends to GSL, too
Don’t like the looks of Greater Spokane League baseball standings? Wait a day and they’ll change.
No sooner had University moved into first place than the Titans were beaten at North Central. And the league’s hottest team continued to be Central Valley.
Two weeks ago the Bears were 3-4 and struggling to place among the league’s top six. Now, after seven straight wins, they share the league lead with two games remaining.
Included is today when the Bears host third-place Ferris. Next Tuesday they’re at fourth-place Mead.
With a game in the loss column separating the five playoff teams, don’t be surprised if there aren’t more changes to come.
Titan girls chase softball crown
Undisputed first place and possibly the Greater Spokane League softball championship is at stake when University travels to Mead today.
The Titans and Panthers share the lead with 11-2 records following three U-Hi wins last week, including 9-1 over contender North Central and Tuesday’s 4-3 win over third-place Gonzaga Prep.
During the trio of victories, Titan batters combined for 27 hits, including six by Toshua Ballou.
Scotties stun Lakeside ace
Freeman’s baseball team moved to within a game of first place in the Northeast A League with Tuesday’s stunning eight-inning 8-6 win over league co-leader Lakeside.
In so doing the Scotties rattled Eagles ace George Petticrew for six runs over the final two innings of the game to give him his first loss of the season.
Nick Schuerman had four hits, Ken Beeler three and Ben Brune hit his third home run of the year for the victors.
Quick season for spring sports
Half of all high school sports are tons of action crammed into the spring seasons’ condensed time-frame.
Soccer playoffs for University, East Valley and Mead begin this week. Regular league play ends for other teams next Thursday, with their playoffs to quickly follow.
All Valley baseball and softball teams are in the hunt.
Numerous individual athletes also are on track for post-season and state competition in track, golf and tennis.
And outcomes will all be determined in a little over a month.