It was not the Greater Spokane League’s finest hour, all four of the league’s 3A teams losing to Mid-Columbia Conference foes in the first round of the postseason.
There was a common thread running through the reasons coaches gave for their season-ending setbacks: Their teams simply picked the wrong time to have subpar games.
“I feel that we didn’t play our best,” Mt. Spokane coach Alex Schuerman said of the 4-2 loss to MCC fourth-seeded Kamiakin. The Wildcats wiggled out of early jams, he said, committed three errors, walked four batters and hit two others and didn’t put the bat on the ball.
As a sophomore last year, David Marshall pitched the title win for the defending state champion Braves and limited the Wildcats to four hits. Schuerman said legitimately they had only two.
“Two were dribblers that were borderline hits,” he said. “We couldn’t get on base and make running a part of our game. That’s baseball. One good pitcher can stymie a good team. I’m disappointed for the guys who had dreams of going further.”
University, said interim coach Don Ressa, walked seven batters and hit five others in the 11-1 loss to Hanford.
“Our game was real simple for us,” Ressa said. “We didn’t play really well. But the kids played hard all year and I’m proud of them.”
Shadle Park was beaten 12-2 by Southridge and, said coach Ron Brooks, eight of the runs were unearned.
“We basically picked the wrong day not to play well,” he said.
Just as hitting can be contagious for an offense, sometimes it is the same when things start to go bad, Brooks said. “ Ben (Shoemaker) threw great for us, but sometimes the ball finds you. But I’m satisfied. We got better and played the big boys (in the GSL) tough.”
Like Schuerman, both coaches gave full credit to their MCC foes in the playoffs.
“The 3A teams are the better (MCC) baseball schools and have been since the split (when the Big Nine divided into two leagues),” Ressa said.
Brooks said, “Southridge did a lot of good things fundamentally. Whenever you play them (the MCC), you have to play your ‘A’ game.”
Young Pirates get a taste
Rogers made a rare playoff appearance on a team that had three seniors, one who started, coach Jim Wasem said. “It was nice to get in the playoffs. We are young and made a lot of mistakes.”
The 3A Pirates had one hit in a 10-0 loss to Kennewick.
“Kennewick has a good pitcher,” Wasem said. “He threw hard and off-speed and didn’t walk anyone.”
He said he hoped the postseason experience creates excitement for the future of a team that included several sophomore starters.
Viks win wild one
Coeur d’Alene (19-5) is returning to the Idaho State 5A tournament, but it took a football score to get there.
The Vikings scored 15 runs over the final two innings of a 25-15 marathon to beat Lewiston on Tuesday. The Bengals (19-5) had taken an 8-3 lead after two innings, trailed 10-8 after four before scoring seven runs in the top of the fifth.
Coeur d’Alene matched that in the bottom of the inning and scored eight in the sixth to end the game.
There were 11 doubles, three by Nick Nyquist, three triples and four home runs, three from Gonzaga University-bound Levi Pereira who drove in seven runs.
State return goal for pair
A year ago Gonzaga Prep and Mead qualified for state. The pair seek repeats with the Bullpups hoping to improve on last year’s top-eight finish, although this time there’s less room for error. The weekend’s 4A subregional at Richland’s Bombers Stadium gets one fewer berth to state.
Like last year, Richland (15-6) and the Bullpups (20-1) meet at 1 p.m. for one state berth.
The Panthers (14-8) face Walla Walla (7-14) in an elimination game and the winner goes against either Prep or the Bombers for the other berth.