Gonzaga Prep and East Valley began the baseball season uncertain of their prospects, but the 4-4 teams were jockeying Tuesday for a place in the upper half of the Greater Spokane League.
The host G-Prep Bullpups, who had opened 0-3, ran their way to a 10-0 five-inning victory Tuesday for their fifth win in six games.
Prep players, including speedy leadoff and No. 2 batters Connor Roff and Ryan Murphy, were given the green light to put the game in motion. It resulted in stolen bases and alert base running that, in essence, manufactured the game’s first four runs.
“We decided we were going to put the pressure on and have some guys who can run a bit,” G-Prep coach Greg Gores said. “Obviously, we’re going to take advantage of what we’ve got.”
The lanky Murphy reached base four times and scored each time. The first came on a sprint from third base when a pitch in the dirt bounced and settled no more that 3 feet from home plate.
“I just use my long legs and step out,” Murphy said. “It’s been kind of established all season that the guys who can run or get a jump get the green light in most situations.”
G-Prep scored twice in the first inning – on an infield hit by Roff, Murphy’s opposite-field single and their base running. Two walks and two hit batters following Jordan McInnis’ home run resulted in a three-run second. Walks and the first of two David Nelson doubles made it 7-0 in the fourth. The Bullpups ended the game in the fifth by doubling their hit total to eight, with Nelson driving in his second run.
“I didn’t think we’d be as strong as last year,” Gores said. “We lost three kids who were pretty good players and knew were going to be young in some spots and a little thin.”
Pitcher Steve Hertz fanned eight and allowed but two hits to EV.
Murphy said the idea was to be aggressive at the plate and continue to be aggressive on the bases, forcing EV into mistakes.
“I think we thought we’d be a little better out of the gate,” he said. “We’re back above .500 and hopefully we’ll keep the momentum going.”
Also in the GSL: Shadle Park at Central Valley and Mt. Spokane at North Central, were postponed until 4 p.m. today. … Lewis and Clark (4-7) scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 4-2 home victory over Rogers (0-9) at Hart Field. The big blow was Sage Poland’s two-run homer in the inning that put the Tigers ahead. Jimmy Reed allowed three hits and struck out eight in a route-going effort. … Aaron Roberts singled, doubled and tripled as host Ferris (7-4) scored in bunches for a 13-3 romp past Mead (7-2). Ben Goodwin and Matt Morris each drove in three runs.
•Inland Empire League: Coeur d’Alene (10-6, 5-3) solidified second place behind unbeaten Lewiston with a 12-hit attack against host Lake City (6-6, 2-4) for a 12-5 win. The Timberwolves abetted their demise by committing four errors and issuing six walks. J.J. Turbin hit a two-run single in the fifth and scored five runs overall. Jackson Seaman had a two RBI double in the fifth. … Host Lakeland (2-9) topped Sandpoint (6-9) 11-2 at Rathdrum.
•Great Northern League: West Valley (5-4, 5-1) scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat Pullman (5-2, 4-2) 11-4 in a makeup of a postponed game from April 6. Mitch Peterson clubbed a two-run homer in the fifth for a 5-4 lead and Anthony Salazar, who won in relief, had a two-run double in the sixth. He finished 2 for 2 and scored three runs.
•Intermountain League: Visiting Timberlake scored 40 runs in a sweep of Kellogg, 16-7 and 24-13. The Tigers trailed 10-2 after two innings in the second game, but combined for 21 runs in the fourth and fifth. Cody Perez had eight hits.