The simple fact of playoff baseball is that you can never have too much pitching, and DeSales’ Cameron Richman made sure the Irish had just enough.
Richman fired a one-hitter to beat Colfax in the Irish’s State 2B opener Saturday at Avista Stadium, 6-3 – a much harder feat than the score indicated.
Both pitchers went the distance in the seven-inning game. Each walked 11 batters and combined they threw more than 300 pitches.
It was a frustrating game for both coaches and more so for the pitchers.
“That was some bad baseball out there, that’s all I’m going to say about it,” DeSales coach Kim Cox said.
Richman struck out a dozen to pick up the win, but more importantly he allowed Cox to have enough pitching to beat Northwest Christian, 4-2, in the nightcap to advance to Friday’s semifinal in Centralia against Adna.
“That was huge for us,” Cox said. “We thought coming in that Colfax was the tougher team. We like our pitching and thankfully it was enough to beat Northwest Christian.”
DeSales scored all four of its runs against NWC in the fourth inning on just two hits, including an RBI single by Kobe Morris. The Irish parlayed a hit-by-pitch and three walks.
Adam Eskil started and pitched the first four innings for DeSales. Connor Richard closed out the win. Richman caught the second game after throwing almost 150 pitches.
“I have a lot of faith in my coaches,” Richman said. “They always have a good gauge on how long I can go. I still had a few throws left in me (behind the plate).”
The key to both games, he said, was in the quality of the DeSales defense.
“I have a lot of faith in the guys behind me when I’m pitching and so does the rest of our staff,” Richman said. “This (Avista) is a big ballpark and I know our outfielders can chase down any ball that gets hit out there. That’s big. All of us, it’s about going out there and throwing strikes. If they hit the ball, our guys will take care of it.”
Northwest Christian fell behind, 2-0, in its first game, then roared back with four runs in the fourth and another in the fifth to beat Kittitas, 5-3.
Left-handers Brian Henry and Nathan Jones combined to scatter six hits by the Coyotes. Henry picked up the win.
The Crusaders finish their season with a 13-6 record.