If the weather is good, why tempt fate? Some Greater Spokane League teams, Gonzaga Prep and Ferris included, decided to play baseball doubleheaders Tuesday instead of single games on back-to-back days.
At G-Prep, the sunny skies and warm temperatures produced pitching brilliance.
The games took less than three hours to complete. Five stingy hurlers – three for the Bullpups, two for the Saxons – allowed but 20 hits and eight runs over 14 innings.
Despite being outhit in both games, G-Prep eked out a pair of one-run decisions, 3-2 and 2-1.
“That is the way it’s supposed to be,” G-Prep coach Brian Munhall said. “Two good teams with good pitchers on the mound playing defense and making somebody beat you.”
Shaky early, pitcher David Machtolf gutted out his duel with Tim Yoshihara in Game 1.
The Bullpups took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Ferris scored in the bottom of the frame and hit three consecutive singles to open the third. But Machtolf got out of the jam with the help of a double play, allowing one run. Anthony Gosline’s RBI hit in the fourth proved the winner as Machtolf settled down over the final four innings.
“In the beginning, I couldn’t throw any strikes,” Machtolf said. “Afterward, I just played catch with (catcher) Zach (Bonneau).
Ferris left eight runners on base despite an 8-6 hit advantage.
“That’s kind of been our deal,” Ferris coach Jim Sharkey said. “I thought we hit balls hard, but didn’t find any holes.”
Game 2 went by even faster, with both teams’ pitchers even more effective.
Saxons hurler Michael Renner allowed just two hits, both in the fourth inning. The second, when Wyatt Mills turned on a fastball, drove in both G-Prep runs after Ferris had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning on Chris Beaulaurier’s base hit. Mills has six hits in the last five games.
G-Prep’s pitchers, 6-foot-6 junior Max Graves and 6-3 sophomore Justin Blatner, allowed four hits and combined to strike out nine.
While happy with the pitching, Munhall didn’t relish the fact his Bullpups had just two hits.
“I had to explain the word ‘anemic’ to the players,” he said of Game 2.
The Bullpups improved to 9-1, ahead of Mt. Spokane (7-1), which beat North Central, and Mead (5-1), which swept Lewis and Clark. Ferris is 4-3. Shadle Park (6-2) swept Central Valley.