Went out yesterday and covered the Ferris regional play-in game against Moses Lake at Gonzaga Prep (during which I also talked with Dennis Patchin about this blog). You can read part of what I wrote here and all of it on the read full entry link below.
As I sat there, for a time with former North Central and Gonzaga University star Pat Donovan, I realized, once again, the Greater Spokane League gives the Columbia Basin League teams too much credit.
Ferris put a team on the field weakened by the loss of players to injury and/or self-inflicted suspensions (four players skipped a playoff game last Saturday to get ready for the prom, so they were unavailable Tuesday) and yet they played right with the CBL representative. But the GSL teams often seem to play a little intimidated. By the time they realize they are just as good as their counterparts from the central part of the state, they are trailing.
I saw the same thing in 2003, when my older son's team lost to Kennewick and WSU-signee Steve Marquardt 8-7 in a game they should have won. I saw the same thing the past two years when my younger son's teams couldn't get past Southridge. I've seen it all too often over for the past 20 years.
Is the baseball better, top to bottom, in the CBL? Arguably. But at the top level, and in playoff games, it always comes down to pitching, the ability to battle at the plate and confidence.
Lately, say the past five years, the GSL's pitching has matched up pretty well. From Donovan, Steve Hare and Brandon Harmon to Bud Kittredge, Billy Moon and all the arms at Mt. Spokane, the GSL has been able to put guys on the mound who can shut down a high school offense.
But those last two areas go hand in hand, and, without the confidence they can win the individual battles at the plate, the GSL teams have fallen short.
• The University Titans rode a solo home run by Ali Warren and the pitching of freshman Mollie Buelow and junior Shelby Bethel to upset nationally ranked Shadle Park 1-0 and win the District 8 fastpitch title at Whitworth.
• The Cheney Blackhawks lost their first soccer game of the season Tuesday in a shoot out, and it cost them a chance at the 2A state title.
Olympia's 1-0 win over U-Hi did the same to the Titans' 4A title hopes.
• Twin Falls' golf teams both earned state titles as Coeur d'Alene finished second in the boys competition.
• There is a lot of sports news from the rest of Washington, but this story caught my eye. It's about pay-to-play in the Seattle school district. Welcome to the future my friends.
If you are interested in the future of Ferris basketball star DeAngelo Casto, check out Bob Condotta's blog at the Seattle Times site. Scroll down to the Casto entry and peruse the comments. Interesting.