Desales Machine Keeps Rolling Over B Foes
The DeSales Irish never tire of putting a fresh twist on an old story.
New characters - this time it was two rookies and the club’s only senior starter - stepped up Saturday at Seafirst Stadium, where the Irish won their sixth straight State B baseball championship.
Freshmen Josh Wolfram and J.C. Biagi served notice that the DeSales baseball machine will stay revved up - Wolfram with four hits, Biagi with clutch relief in a 7-3 win over the Touchet Indians.
While youth was served in this, DeSales’ 22nd victory against three losses, it wasn’t entirely a ninth-grade story.
Jeremy Lilwall, the Irish designated hitter, ended his high school career by scoring a key sixth-inning insurance run, and an inning later stroking a two-out, two-run double to put the game out of reach.
By then, the little ninth-grader with the live arm, Biagi, had taken the tension out of Touchet’s rally.
Biagi came on in the fifth with the Irish in trouble. Touchet had a run in and two on with one out, down a run.
Down 3-0 early, the Indians had chipped away at DeSales starter Kris Wolfram. After Touchet’s Beau Gosney singled home Jake Bussell and Tim Miller walked in the fifth, Cox summoned Biagi from his shortstop position to pitch.
Biagi struck out Jeff Ford and got Tim Dickey on an infield grounder to end the inning.
He cruised the rest of the way, retiring seven of the last nine Touchet batters.
DeSales coach Kim Cox was humble in victory. He’s had plenty of practice accepting trophies for the private school from Walla Walla.
“They’re all different,” Cox said of the string of state titles. “The kids are different. All I can really say is that we’re blessed. We have a good school and baseball community that makes the whole thing go.
“Kids come up from Assumption Elementary, everybody knows each other and knows what it’s all about. It (the program) has just kind of gotten in place and stayed that way.”
The Irish jumped on Gosney, Touchet’s ace, for three in the first, keyed by Josh Wofram’s two-run single. Kris Wolfram doubled and Allen Stanley singled ahead of him.
Joe Levens scored what was the winning run in the second - walking, stealing second and third and scoring on an error.
For Levens, the star of Friday’s semifinal win over Northwest Christian, winning was at best only bittersweet. After he out-dueled Northwest Christian ace Jeremy Affeldt on Friday, he came off the field to learn that his grandmother had died. There was, otherwise, great satisfaction in putting one more notch in the belt.
Lilwall, who will study engineering and play baseball at Whitman College next fall, will henceforth do his hitting for Gosney, not against him.
Lilwall said the two high school opponents - he and Gosney - will play summer ball together in Oregon.
“I was looking - hoping - to hit one there (in the gap in right-center in the seventh) and I did,” Lilwall said. “It’s a great way to go out, with a hit like that and another championship.”
Northwest Christian defeated Cascade Christian 13-12 for third place.