The Richland Bombers jumped out to a big early lead and then rode the arm of Cody Shepherd to a 10-4 victory over the University Titans in a State 4A quarterfinal baseball game Saturday in Richland.
The Bombers (22-2) jumped on U-Hi starter Billy Moon for two first-inning runs and four second-inning tallies, but the Titans battled back.
U-Hi (22-4) scored twice in the top of the fourth and, after giving one back in the bottom the inning, Moon smacked a two-run home run to pull the Titans within 7-4.
But Shepherd was lights out after that. He hit the next batter and then retired nine straight, striking out four of them. His 116-pitch complete-game effort sends Richland to Safeco Field in Seattle for its third straight semifinal berth.
“The whole game I was trying to find a rhythm,” Shepherd told the Tri-City Herald. “After Moon hit that home run, I really tried to speed things up and it worked.”
It didn’t hurt that U-Hi committed nine errors, including four in the bottom of the fifth when Richland pushed across three runs to ice the game.
“Against Richland you can’t do that,” Titans coach Scott Sutherland said. “We’re very disappointed right now.”
University advanced to the quarterfinals by slipping past Kamiakin 4-3 in eight innings, despite committing four errors.
Kamiakin (15-11) sent the game into extra innings on a pinch-hit solo home run by Nolan Sportelli in the top of the seventh.
Moon went 3 for 4 with a double and three runs scored for the Titans. He was 3 for 4 in the nightcap with a home run and two RBIs.
Marc Garza drove in six runs with a pair of home runs, including a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning to lead Othello (20-4) to a 9-4 win over Pullman (15-5) in a loser-out quarterfinals game in Yakima.
Pullman advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-3 win over Ellensburg in loser-out play. Jaime Fertakis’ three-run double capped a four-run bottom of the sixth inning for the Greyhounds. Othello advanced by overcoming a four-run deficit to beat Cheney (18-5) 6-4 in a loser-out game. The Blackhawks led 4-0 after Thomas Townsand’s two-run double in the top of the third inning.
Northwest Christian fell a run short in its bid to make the state semifinals – losing 4-3 to Asotin at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla.
NWC (17-8) advanced to the quarterfinals with a come-from-behind 10-9 win over La Salle. Justin Loiseau’s three-run triple in the top of the fifth inning put the Crusaders up 8-6.
•DeSales doubled up St. George’s 8-4 in a quarterfinal game at Shadle Park.
Pat Richard had two hits, including a triple, and pitched a complete game with seven strikeouts to send the Fighting Irish to the state semifinals beginning Friday in Yakima.
It was too bad the Dragons couldn’t have carried over a few runs from their 25-4 rout of Waterville in the first game of the day.
Jordan Dickson went 4 for 5 with a double and 10 RBIs for St. George’s, while teammate Trenton Hauff had three hits in six trips with six RBIs.
DeSales outslugged previously unbeaten Colfax (20-1) 14-11 in its first game. Victor Mata and Kyle Lindgren each had three hits for the winners.
Cashmere scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back en route to a 15-2 win over Freeman (19-7) in a loser-out quarterfinals game in Wenatchee.
Freeman advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Columbia Burbank 9-3. Steven Burke went 3 for 4 with a double and Cameron Duckett had a pair of hits, including a run-scoring single in the Scotties’ six-run third inning.
David Nichols went 2 for 2 with two RBIs and Logan Jannot ripped a bases-loaded triple in the top of the seventh inning to power Wilbur-Creston (12-9) to an 8-4 victory over Almira/Coulee-Hartline (14-7) in a quarterfinals game at Avista Stadium.
Travis Camp struck out eight to earn the win for the Wildcats, who are headed to the state championship game – against Touchet – Friday at Parker Field in Yakima.
Mike Rehn fanned 13 in a losing effort for the Warriors.
In earlier games, ACH eliminated Northport (8-13) 10-2. Reid Ashley struck out 10 on his way to a victory, Rehn homered and drove in a pair of runs and Dylan Tipps doubled in two runs.
Also, Jacob Struve knocked in three runs to lead W-C past Curlew (14-7) 10-6 in a loser-out game.
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