Judging by their reaction, one would have thought the Central Valley Bears had clinched the Greater Spokane League baseball championship outright Thursday.
Preseason favorite CV knocked off Mt. Spokane for a second straight game as the visiting Bears forged a tie for the league title with the Wildcats with a 6-2 decision.
Both teams had locked up top seeds to postseason play. But CV made the final game of the regular season meaningful when senior right-handed Scott Simon tossed a one-hitter in a 6-1 victory on Wednesday. Both teams finished league at 17-3.
The District 8 4A tournament begins with a loser-out game Monday when No. 5 seed University (11-8) faces No. 4 Lewis and Clark (13-7) at Avista Stadium at 4 p.m.
The tourney resumes Wednesday with double-elimination play. No. 2 Mead (15-5) meets No. 3 Ferris (14-6) at 4, followed by CV taking on the U-Hi/LC winner at 7, also at Avista.
The championship game is May 14. The top two teams advance to regionals.
The league title is just the second for CV. The Bears shared the championship with Ferris in 1992. It’s the second shared title for Mt. Spokane, which also won an outright championship in 2007.
The 3A subregional between the GSL and Columbia Basin Big Nine begins Tuesday. But Rogers (3-17) and North Central (3-17) finished tied for the fourth and final seed and meet in a loser-out playoff at 3 p.m. Saturday at Gonzaga Prep.
In loser-out openers Tuesday, GSL No. 3 East Valley (3-17) visits CBBN No. 2 (to be determined Saturday) and the Rogers/NC winner is at GSL No. 2 Shadle Park (6-13). Double-elimination action begins next Friday.
CV 6, Mt. Spokane 2: After suffering back-to-back losses to Ferris, the Bears finished regular-season play strongly.
“We had a couple of days off after the Ferris games and we really concentrated on our swings and hitting curveballs off the (pitching) machine,” Bears second baseman David Borgman said. “We focused there and came back to win the championship.”
Borgman had two hits, including his league-leading sixth homer – a two-run shot in the sixth that gave the Bears their final two runs.
“We set four goals – winning regionals, winning districts and winning state along with league,” Borgman said.
CV coach Barry Poffenroth is thankful to have the first step in the journey complete.
“In the fifth inning I was getting a little nervous,” said Poffenroth, whose team trailed 1-0 after Evan Renner hit a solo homer in the first. “A couple of guys who were struggling are starting to hit it again. Hopefully, this will bode well in districts and beyond.”
After left-handed starter Cory Mack allowed the homer to Renner, he found a groove. He allowed just two more hits while striking out eight.
The Wildcats were noticeably disappointed afterward.
“It’s not how we wanted to be there (league title), backing our way in kind of,” Mt. Spokane coach Alex Schuerman said. “I told them (his players) to let it burn. They’re hooting and hollering on our field. I said that should burn, that should frustrate us. We’ve got to regroup and refocus.”
Mead 13, University 10: The visiting Panthers rallied by scoring six runs in the sixth.
Kyle Courtney led Mead by going 3 for 4 with three runs batted in, including a two-run homer. Kramer Kimbell added two doubles and three RBIs.
Thomas Wakem led U-Hi with a homer and two RBIs.
Ferris 4, G-Prep 3: The visiting Saxons rallied with four runs in the sixth, sparked by Chase Haack’s two-run double, for their eighth straight victory.
David Machtolf’s bases-loaded single in the fifth gave the Bullpups (7-13) a 3-0 lead.
Ryan Krustangel led Ferris with two hits.
Rogers 8, North Central 7: A walk-off, bases-loaded, no-out single by Matt Durant allows the Pirates another chance to earn a berth to the subregional.
Durant went 3 for 5 with three RBIs. Tyler Orlowski added two hits and four RBIs.
LC 12, East Valley 2 (5): Garrick Little led off the game with a homer for the visiting Tigers in the run-rule shortened game.
Three more homers followed in an eight-run third for LC. Josh Martin and Stefan Altberg had three-run homers and Donnie Santos had a two-run homer.
EV earned the No. 3 seed to the subregional based on quality wins. The Knights had a winner earlier over 4A University.
•Needing a sweep to stay in contention for the Great Northern League title, West Valley (10-6, 9-5) was swept by host Clarkston (13-5, 9-5) 12-2, 9-1. Brady Arnone had four hits on the day for Clarkston and Randy Fuller added a double and a home run in the opener.
Elsewhere, Ryan Owens finished the day with five hits, including three doubles and a triple, and added five RBIs and two runs as host Medical Lake (12-7, 7-7) swept Riverside (4-16, 2-12) 11-1, 4-0. … Blake Sjordal had three hits, two runs and an RBI in the opener and host Colville (8-11, 6-8) swept Deer Park (2-16, 1-13) 6-3, 5-2. … The doubleheader between Cheney (14-2, 11-1) and host Pullman (10-6, 9-3) was postponed by rain and will be played at 2 p.m. today. Cheney can clinch first place with at least a split.
•Chris Schenck went six strong innings, allowing six hits in the second game and visiting Lake City (12-9, 6-6) swept Inland Empire 5A foe Post Falls (3-15, 0-12) 13-7, 9-3.
•Salvador Miranda had three hits and two runs as Timberlake (11-6, 9-3 Intermountain League) clinched the No. 1 seed to district with an 8-0 win over host St. Maries (8-13, 7-4).