Indians headed to ‘Sweet 16’
Colville will oppose LaSalle on SaturdayThe Colville High baseball team (13-9) won two of three games last week to qualify for the 1A regional tournament Saturday at Larson Field in Moses Lake.The Indians, who edged Cascade 7-6 last Tuesday in Moses Lake to keep their season alive and advance to the Bi-District Tournament in Wenatchee last Saturday against the Caribou-Trail League, will oppose LaSalle on Saturday in a loser-out game at Moses Lake (1 p.m.).LaSalle (14-8) is No. 3 seeded out of the SCAC League. The Lightning were blanked 5-0 by Naches Valley (18-2) last Friday in their District tournament semifinal. LaSalle rebounded to gain a regional berth with a win over Burbank last Saturday.A win by the Indians would propel the Bi-District 6-7 No. 2 seed into a 4 p.m. game Saturday against the survivor of the Orting vs. Naches Valley game.Indians playing on all cylindersThe Moses Lake winner will advance to the State 1A Final Four at Yakima County Stadium May 25-26. “We are playing the best baseball of the season right now,” CHS head coach Boo Morrison said after the Indians won two of three games last week to advance to the Moses Lake regional. “Beating Cascade last week (in Moses Lake) was huge for us. Since that game, this has been a different team. The chemistry is great and the kids are really playing for each other.”After surviving against Cascade, Colville advanced to the Bi-District Tournament last Saturday at Wenatchee High School and a fifth meeting this season with rival Chewelah.The Indians, who lost their last meeting at home to the Cougars, controlled the action this time and recorded a 6-3 win.That thrust the Indians into the championship against top-ranked and unbeaten Cashmere (22-0). The Bulldogs, who entered the tournament having given up all of seven runs all season long, were tested for the first time in a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Lakeside. Lakeside rebounded to garner the Bi-District’s third seed to regionals with a 5-4 win over Chewelah (see Chewelah’s Bi-District recap elsewhere in this edition of S-E Sports).Colville fell to Cashmere, 8-2.COLVILLE RECAPIn the tough win over Cascade, Colville sophomore transfer Ryan Hartinger got the start. Hartinger simply didn’t have it and was lifted after 2 1/3 innings for Austin Hegney. He got relief help in the seventh inning from Tevyn Holling.Colville, who hit the ball hard in their three games last week, plated four runs in the second inning. Dalton Streibeck singled and Hartinger drove the senior home with an RBI double. Hartinger scored on a Journey Young single and then Young, who stole second base, came home on Tevyn Holling’s single. Catcher J.R. Henry then got in the act with a run scoring triple.Henry, the top catcher in the Northeast A this season, had a pair of triples in the game. Lukyn Holling was 3-4.Colville added a run in the fifth inning. Singles by Sam Sprague and Streibeck were the key blows. An error and two Cascade walks also conspired to help the Indians tack on another run.CHS added two more runs in the sixth inning. Henry tripled home Lukyn Holling, who had singled. A Sprague ground-out to second base chased home Henry.Colville stranded 12 base-runners.Holling helpHegney got into trouble in the seventh inning when he walked the first two Cascade hitters. But Holling came on and promptly got the lead runner at third base on a sacrifice bunt attempt. An infield out and a game-ending strikeout assured Colville that their season would continue.Morrison was pleased with the gritty win over Cascade.“That win was probably the most satisfying as a head coach that I have had at any level,” Morrison said.When it was over, the Indians raced onto the field and did the obligatory dog pile.“That’s the highest I’ve ever seen us,” Morrison added. “It was great to see.”Sophomore Chris Boggs, so effective last month in a game at Chewelah, got the start at Wenatchee High School on Saturday against the Cougars. But Boggs didn’t have his best stuff and lasted only 1 1/3 innings before Tevyn Holling was on in relief again.Hartinger came on in the fifth inning.Chewelah scored one run in the first inning to take an early lead and added two more in the third. But Colville erupted for four runs in the second inning. Sprague led off with a double and Colton Davis was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second base. A Hartinger single loaded the bases for Streibeck, whose double into the right-field gap scored Sprague and Davis.Morrison then went to his short game bag of tricks, calling for two perfectly executed squeeze bunts. “I’ve seen Chewelah do the same thing to us,” Morrison said of the successive squeeze plays. “We had two of our best bunters up there (Jessie Morrison an Journey Young). It was a good situation for us.”Colville added a pair of runs in the fifth inning to take their 6-3 lead.Kyle Baker walked and Lukyn Holling singled to rightfield. Henry then plated Baker with an RBI single in front of Sprague, who doubled into the right-field gap to score Holling. Sprague was 2-4 with a pair of doubles. Hartinger had a pair of singles.Tevyn Holling picked up the win in relief against Chewelah. He pitched effectively and Hartinger was even more effective (four strikeouts and one walk).“They never even threatened Ryan,” Morrison said. Caleb Wiebe went the distance and took the loss for Chewelah.Too much respect accorded to CashmereIn the Bi-District title game, Morrison figured that the Indians might have given a very good Cashmere team a little too much respect.“We came out a little flat,” Morrison said. “If we play them again, I don’t think we’ll do that.”Colville scored both their runs in the seventh inning.Sprague, who went 4-6 on the day with three doubles, had an RBI double against Cashmere.Hegney took the loss. He worked three innings before turning it over to Tevyn and Lukyn Holling. Sprague also got some work.Morrison also had praise for his steady second baseman, Streibeck. The former Cashmere student played solidly on defense and picked up some clutch hits last week.