Bulldogs don’t have it against Indians
Kettle Falls High (12-10) simply had nothing in the tank in an 11-0 loss to Reardan last Tuesday in a District 7 2B tournament game at Medical Lake.
The loss ended Kettle’s season.
Reardan advanced to the regional tournament at Gonzaga Prep last Saturday. The Indians were eliminated 4-3 by Riverside Christian.
Asotin advanced out of the Spokane regional to the Class 2B Final Four in Ellensburg Friday and Saturday.
In one semifinal, Asotin will oppose Toutle Lake (Friday at 4 p.m.). The other semifinal will pit perennial 2B power and state champion DeSales (Walla Walla) against Mossyrock (1 p.m.). All games will be played at Rotary Field in Ellensburg.
11th hour site switch to Medical Lake
KFHS first-year head coach Landon Johnston wasn’t making any excuses for his young team, but he wasn’t very happy about an 11th hour site change that originally had his team playing at a location akin to a neutral field (Gonzaga Prep) until some last minute juggling found the game switched to Medical Lake.
For those doing the math at home, Reardan is all of 15 miles west of Medical Lake.
For what it was worth, Johnston filed a formal complaint with the WIAA before the game. He didn’t appreciate the last minute venue switch that certainly benefited Reardan.
“We were the higher seed,” Johnston said. “It was a home game for Reardan. The whole town was there.”
If the entire town made the morning game back on May 15, that begs a question. Does anybody work in Reardan?
The Monday afternoon switch of sites from G-Prep to Medical Lake was ostensibly made because of a site conflict at G-Prep in Spokane.
Johnston wasn’t buying into any of that.
“There wasn’t a conflict at Gonzaga Prep’s field,” Johnston said. “I don’t know why they changed the location of the game. Gonzaga Prep’s schedule clearly stated that they didn’t have a conflict. Maybe it was a practice conflict, but it wasn’t a game conflict. And who chose Medical Lake? The whole thing was really fishy.”
Johnston said he was notified of the location change at 3 p.m. on May 14.
Johnston said he would have been happy to move the game (back to G-Prep) on Wednesday. Anything but play what amounted to a road game right around the corner from Reardan.
“I doubt that this would have happened if it hadn’t been a 2B game,” the coach added. “And they certainly could have found a better field than Medical Lake…it just wasn’t a neutral field…it’s very frustrating.
“But there is no excuse for the way we played. We played very poorly under some extenuating circumstances. I felt badly for the kids. They deserved to play at G-Prep. The whole thing rubbed me wrong and was just very poorly organized all around.”
To add insult to injury, even the All-League certificates were screwed up (2011 date instead of 2012).
But Johnston gave credit to Reardan for playing well and to the Kettle Falls fan that made the trip on short notice to Medical Lake.
“We had a very good season,” Johnston said. “It just wasn’t a very good day. But the fan support was great all season.”
Kettle Falls committed an uncharacteristic five errors and managed only two hits. KFHS hitters struck out eight times in the five-inning game.
“That was arguably the worst game we have played all season,” Johnston said. “We looked like we were asleep.
“We know that we are a better team than Reardan. But we weren’t on that day.”
Kettle Falls ace Tyler Vining (6-3) didn’t have his usual good stuff. He lasted three innings and surrendered five runs (four earned), scattered six hits, struck out five and walked two before being pulled for Reuben Winter, who gave up six runs in the Reardan fourth inning (four walks).
Brandon Thomas pitched the fifth inning and struck out the side.
The Bulldogs lose seniors Paulo Monteiro, Kevin Owens, Winter, Keilson Pen Ching and Brent McNeil. Monteiro and Pen Ching are foreign exchange students.
“I was proud of how this group came together as a team,” Johnston said. “And I am proud of them for what they accomplished.
“We have a good nucleus of players coming back and most of our returning players will be playing summer baseball. We will come back even stronger next spring.
Kettle Falls will move up to the Northeast A League next fall.