Old song lyrics croon that “love is lovelier the second time around.” You’ve got to love it when baseball players hit back-to-back-to-back home runs the second time through the order in the same inning.
The bizarre scenario unfolded when Mt. Spokane scored 10 times in the first inning of a 16-5 victory at Central Valley. In their second at-bats during the frame, Jordan Fitzpatrick launched a two-run homer; on the next pitch Connor Cantu went yard.
Following a pitching change, Tyler Huck wondered how he possibly could follow that and Wildcats coach Alex Schuerman said. “I told him try to get a good pitch and extend the inning.” Huck sent a laser out over the left-field fence.
Later in the game Jake Leavy hit a three-run shot for the team’s fourth homer. Last year Mt. Spokane had one homer the entire season and that came in a playoff game.
“I remember one game in 2007 we hit five home runs and two kids went back-to-back,” Schuerman said. “But I’ve never seen back-to-back-to-back. That was pretty crazy.”
Wells nearly perfect
Hunter Wells is a shortstop, but the West Valley athlete might want to reconsider. He was a walk away from perfection this week as West Valley made an early statement in the Great Northern League.
The Eagles (4-0) swept a doubleheader at home against Pullman 6-5 and 9-1, plus Wells threw two shutouts, five-hitting Cheney and pitching the near perfecto against Colville.
“It was amazing,” coach Don O’Neal said of the effort. “He just completely dominated.”
Colleges and the San Francisco Giants have clocked him between 87 and 89 miles per hour.
But, said O’Neal, “the thing that’s impressive about him is his changeup and curve. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a kid throw that well.”
Wells threw 68 pitches in the shutout against Cheney and 70-plus against Colville, O’Neal said.
Freshman Dylan Steen threw five shutout innings of relief as WV came back from a 5-1 deficit in the opener with three runs for the walk-off with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Micael Taylor allowed one run in the second game.
Bullpups rake it
GSL favorite Gonzaga Prep piled up 31 runs on 36 hits and pitchers allowed six runs total during its 3-0 start. Admittedly, the Bullpups don’t get into the meat of their schedule until later in the season.
Their wins came over North Central (11-1 twice) and Lewis and Clark (9-4).
Fifteen of the hits went for extra bases. Rhett Larson went 4 for 7 and drove in five runs. Steven Machtolf, who missed last season due to injury, hit two doubles and drove in five.
Pitchers Max Graves, Justin Blatner and Wyatt Mills picked up the wins with a combined earned run average of 0.74.
No-hitter for McGowen
Mead took up where it left off – with another no-hit pitching performance. Jordan McGowan was the man during a five inning 11-1 win over LC. The run came in the first inning.
He also had seven hits – four against LC – helping the Panthers to a 3-0 start.
Last year the Panthers had a pair of no-hitters and numerous two-hitters.
3A teams learn quickly
Beginning this week, an early stretch of the GSL schedule is giving 3A coaches a quick indication where they stand among their classification peers.
Shadle Park played University Tuesday and Thursday. The Highlanders jump from the frying pan into the fire, facing Mt. Spokane today and Monday. University takes on North Central Friday and Monday. The first games following spring break University and Mt. Spokane meet on April 9 and 11.
“It was totally random,” Schuerman said of the schedule. “There was no rhyme or reason at all.”
Mid-to-late season the top 4A teams will do the same.
“It’s really odd, no doubt about it,” Schuerman said.