In the final two years of the Border League, Coach Harry Amend’s Central Valley baseball team had a run of success, with league titles in 1974 and 1975.
His 1974 team was young and often started six juniors, two seniors and a sophomore. With the pitching of Lance Woodruff, and offense often provided by John Seefried, Steve Malito and Dennis Dieni at the plate, CV won the league by three games.
CV defeated Lewis and Clark 4-2 in the District AAA playoffs with star pitcher Lance Woodruff throwing a three-hitter to advance the team to regional play.
At Regionals, against Kamiakin, Woodruff was brilliant in pitching a no-hitter. The next day the CV bats took over as Seefried and Malito were instrumental in a 9-4 win over Shadle Park to take the championship.
The victory sent CV to Sick’s Stadium in Seattle to face Meadowdale in the semifinals of the State AAA tournament. There, they faced pitcher Randy Jackson who came into the game with a 10-0 record and a 0.39 ERA. Again, Seefried and Malito led the attack, while Woodruff continued his stellar pitching in a 5-1 win to send the Bears into the championship game against Lakes.
Junior Bruce Carnine took the mound against Lakes, facing Scott Brunick for the Lancers. Carnine pitched well, giving up only six hits, and allowing only one earned run. However, Brunick held the Bears to three hits, and fought his way out of a bases loaded situation late in the game to give Lakes the state crown, 3-0.
In 1975, Amend’s team once again were league, district, and regional champions, earning another trip to Seattle. This time they faced Shorecrest in the semifinals.
Some questionable calls and allowing Shorecrest 10 walks ended the team’s title chances as they fell 3-2 to the Scots. A consolation 4-3 victory over Fort Vancouver gave them third place, but short of the desired trophy.
Amend coached at CV from 1970 to 1979 compiling a 201-86 record and was inducted in the Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994. He was also a longtime scout for the Philadelphia Phillies.