Braves denies Lewis and Clark’s bid for state berth
Lewis and Clark’s baseball date with destiny ended unfulfilled Wednesday as the Tigers were jilted for another suitor.
The District 8 champions were beaten 7-4 by Columbia Basin Big Nine No. 3 seed Kamiakin. But order was in essence restored as regular-season Greater Spokane League champion and postseason favorite University continued its back-door journey to the spot that LC (15-9) had coveted.
U-Hi (21-2) upended CBBN No. 2 Southridge (19-6) 6-2 in eight innings for its third straight trip to state.
The Titans (21-2) play Kamiakin (15-10) on Saturday in Richland while Richland plays Kamiak during the round of 16. Games are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., with the winners playing at 4 p.m.
“I’m appreciative of the kids and the great season they had,” Lewis and Clark coach Dexter Davis said.
Kamiakin 7, LC 4: Although the Braves banged out 14 hits at windy Hart Field, the runs came courtesy of Tigers mistakes.
A two-out pop foul that could have been caught on the first-base side of the infield to end a scoreless top of the first inning wasn’t and five straight Kamiakin hits produced three runs.
After the Tigers battled back to tie, a bobbled two-out grounder that resulted in a safe call at first base was followed by a two-run single that somehow eluded LC’s middle infielders.
The final run came on a seventh-inning sacrifice following an error.
“Honestly, my thoughts are you’ve got to give your respect to Kamiakin,” Davis said. “They came out there and hit the ball and put the ball in play. But the things we needed to do and know we can do, we didn’t do.”
Players afterward expressed disappointment at not playing as they had while beating Ferris, U-Hi and Mead to win district.
“We were playing well and clicking at the right time,” said center fielder Sage Poland, who singled twice and scored in the third inning. “Today we came out flat and it came back to bite us.”
Dean Neilson, probably the best No. 8 batter in the GSL with a .422 average and who hit a solo home run in the sixth, concurred.
“We just overlooked these guys and didn’t play our ball,” he said. “What can I say? It wasn’t the day for the Tigers.”
Back-to-back doubles by Drew Oord, who drove in one run, and Matt Minnich, who plated a pair, accounted for Kamiakin’s first-inning runs. LC scored twice in the second on three hits and an error and tied the score on Josh Martin’s sacrifice fly in the third.
Kamiakin had two on with two outs in the fifth when Dean Neilson juggled a grounder at second. His throw appeared to beat Justin Dodd, who was called safe. Braves No. 9 hitter Dusty Petragallo threaded a grounder up the middle that put them ahead 5-3.
Oord’s third RBI in the sixth was followed by Neilson’s leadoff homer in the bottom of the frame. Kamiakin added insurance in the top of seventh and turned a double play in the bottom of the seventh to erase Poland’s leadoff single, ending one last Tigers threat.
Jimmy Reed for the most part worked his way out of trouble but took the loss ending an otherwise stellar senior season.
“They fought and didn’t give up,” Davis said of his Tigers. “What did Kamiakin get, five unearned runs? If we make the plays it’s a 4-2 game and we’re having a whole different conversation right now.”
•University 6, Southridge 2: Thomas Wakem failed twice on bunt attempts with two runners on in the extra inning, but he delivered a two-run double thereafter that sent the Titans to state.
“It was in the left-center field gap,” coach Scott Sutherland said. “The wind was blowing (in) so hard the outfielders were playing shallow. He caught it right and it rolled to the fence.”
Tony Tabish doubled in the third run of the inning and Ian Craig-Scott singled in another.
U-Hi broke up a scoreless game in the fifth on Jacob Olsufka’s two-run double, but Southridge (19-6) tied the game in the bottom of the inning.
U-Hi pitcher Billy Moon pitched a four-hitter, striking out eight and walking three.
“The big deal for us was Billy keeping the ball down and the defense was outstanding,” Sutherland said.
•Region 6-7 1A: Freeman returns to state, but Northeast A League champion Lakeside’s season ended. The Scotties (18-6) beat Chelan 5-1 on Bo Barnes’ complete-game four-hitter. He also had an RBI single during a four-run fifth that broke up a scoreless tie. Jacob Kitterman started the scoring with a two-run triple. Freeman plays Columbia (Burbank) at 10 a.m. Saturday in Wenatchee. … Lakeside’s Eagles (16-4) lost 13-1 to Okanogan. The Bulldogs scored seven of their runs over the first two innings and cruised on T.J. Gilman’s 10 strikeout three-hitter.
•District 7 2B: Bi-County League teams Colfax and Northwest Christian claimed the top two berths at Avista Stadium, and the regular-season champion Colfax Bulldogs (20-0) remained perfect on the season with a 13-1 over NWC (16-7). Zach Bantrease was 2 for 3 with a two-run triple in the second inning for Colfax. Joe Johnson doubled and tripled among three hits. Colfax plays Saturday in the second game against DeSales at Shadle Park. NWC’s Crusaders travel to Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla against La Salle. … Colfax opened the final day with an 11-0 victory over Republic. Brandon Hoadley pitched an 11-strikeout, one-hit dandy. … The Crusaders outscored St. George’s 12-5 as catcher Tanner Chaffin had six runs batted in. …St. George’s (17-3) claimed the No. 3 seed and a 10 a.m. game at Shadle against Waterville by beating Republic (16-5) 11-3. Trenton Hauff was 4 for 4 with four RBIs and pitcher Jordan Dickson drove in three runs and struck out six to end Republic’s year.