Travel info for CHS fans headed east

You’ve seen what to look for on the field, now, it’s time to help you plan your weekend if you are a Cedarcrest High School sports fan and want to head over to Yakima to see the Red Wolves baseball and softball teams at state.

Getting there
The trip there will not be a hard one. From the Lower Valley, get to I-90, either at Preston or North Bend, and head east over the Cascades to Ellensburg, and take exit 110 (I-82) and head south towards Yakima. Allow two-three hours each direction. The mountain weather forecast for this weekend is expected to be fine, so there’s no need to carry any winter weather items with you as you head across.

To Carlon Park: Exit I-82 at exit #26. Turn right and head around the corner on SR 821. The first intersection you will come to is Harrison Road (SR 823). Turn left here and head west into Selah. You will come to the end of this road at the intersection of Wenas Road. Turn left here onto Wenas, and head south a short distance. At East Goodlander Road, turn right, and the park will be on your left, with the parking lot to follow. At Lancaster Rd., turn left and you’ll enter the parking lot for the park.

To Yakima County Stadium: Exit I-82 at exit #34, Nob Hill Blvd. Turn right onto Nob Hill and head west to S. Fair Avenue, and turn right here. Head north on Fair and the stadium and parking will be on your right just past the Yakima Sundome.

Admission
Admission at both sites is $10 adults, $7 for students. Note that for those of you who want to see both teams play tomorrow, you’ll need to pay admission at both sites. If you want a pass for all weekend, it’s $16 adults, $10 students, and again, just like with the single games, you’ll need to pay at both sites to see both teams play.

Hotels
In Selah, there is one hotel, right across the street from Carlon. The North Park Lodge, (509) 698-6000, is that establishment, and you can call and check on rooms today there for you Red Wolves softball fans. Most of the hotels, though, are in Yakima, near the baseball tournament site at Yakima County Stadium. More information on all of those establishments is available here.

Food/Gas
There’s plenty of that available in both Selah and Yakima, so you should be in good shape over there on that front this weekend. Most establishments in Selah are downtown, but there is a Taco Bell across the street from Carlon on the Wenas Road side of the park for those looking for a quick fix. The above link, to the Yakima Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, will provide more info. Concessions, however, should be available at both venues.

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WIAA high school state golf tournaments wrap up, plus news from the diamond on this Thursday….

In this morning’s wrapup of yesterday’s action, the Washington state high school golf championships finished up over in the Tri-Cities.

In the 4A boys’ tournament, Mount Si High School finished well back in the team competition with 14 points; Alex Nelson led the Wildcats, carding an 81 on the par-72 layout at Meadow Springs Country Club in Kennewick to finish with a two-day score of 160, good for a tie for 29th. Senior Jimmy Jacobson finished off his high school career with an 89 to finish with a two-day score of 168, good for 38th overall. Richland’s Carl Underwood won a four-way playoff for the 4A boys’ individual title, with Bellarmine Prep winning the team crown.

Meanwhile, at the 2A girls’ event, Cedarcrest High’s girls scored 20 ½ team points and finished well back in the team competition. Casey Spurr finished in a tie for 20th overall after firing a round of 91 on the par-72 Columbia Point layout in Richland. She closed out the two days of play with a total of 181. Teammate Holland Seamons carded a 100 and finished with a two-day score of 199, good for 42nd overall.

Rounding it out, at the 4A girls’ tournament in Pasco, Mount Si High’s Caitlin Maralack finished in 15th overall, after firing a 79 at the par-72 Sun Willows Golf Course; her two-day score was 156. Jalayne Martinez from Pasco won the tournament and the team crown went to Bellarmine Prep, giving the Tacoma school the sweep of both the 4A boys and girls’ titles. Mount Si did not compete in the team competition with Maralack as their lone qualifier. East Valley-Yakima’s Morgan Baum rallied with a final round 69 to beat first-round leader Kenedee Peters of Ephrata to win the 2A tournament by one stroke, and East Valley also won the team title.

Cedarcrest did not have any representatives competing in the 2A boys’ tournament at Horn Rapids Golf Course in Richland; Liberty, from Renton, won the team title and Bellingham’s Nick Nolan won the tournament.

We also have one youth baseball score:

WW Sweets 10, Washington A’s 16U 7: At Interlake High School in Bellevue, Mount Si High School athletes were factors for both teams in the slugfest last night won by the Sammamish-based Sweets. WWS’ Dusty Dover was 0-3, but walked once, hit into a fielder’s choice, scored a run and drove in two more, while fellow Wildcat Jesiah Irish was 0-4 with an RBI. For the A’s, also based in Sammamish, MSHS’s Ethan “Moose” Read was 1-3 with an RBI and fellow Wildcat Jake Ayers was 0-1.

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Previewing the 2A state baseball and softball semifinals and finals for Cedarcrest this weekend

Good Thursday morning. We’ll wrap up golf and baseball for you later, but we start this morning by offering you a preview of what will be a big weekend for Cedarcrest High School’s baseball and softball teams, both of whom are likely headed over to Yakima later today to get ready for their state tournament action tomorrow at the WIAA 2A high school baseball and softball tournaments. We’ll preview the matchups here now, and later, give you some travel information to help you plan your weekend should you want to make the trip over the Cascades to Yakima.

We’ll start with a look at the baseball semifinal matchup, tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at Yakima County Stadium against Fife.

Red Wolves could be in for a challenge against Trojans
Cedarcrest made the semis with a win in their regional final game this past Sunday over Liberty, but Fife could provide an even bigger test. And that is due to who will likely get the call to the hill to start the game on the mound for the 21-3 Trojans.

Senior Tanner Knapp, who has been their ace pitcher all season, and frankly, based on the numbers we’ve seen, best all-around player this spring, is expected to get that call and if you want to talk about dominant, look no further than Knapp. He’s started all nine games he’s pitched this spring, and according to MaxPreps, he’s logged a 7-0 record with a, get this, 0.17 earned run average. You read that right. 0.17. Meaning that opportunities to make things happen for Cedarcrest could be limited at best, and that’s even with the strong senior-led offensive group the Red Wolves have. It doesn’t help that Knapp has 73 strikeouts in 41 innings this season, almost two strikeouts an inning on average, so Knapp, if he’s the one the Red Wolves get to face, will be the best they’ve faced all season.

He’s also been a solid hitter this spring, hitting over .300 with a couple of homers along with around two dozen RBI’s. Knapp will be one to watch for sure tomorrow in that game.

So, who will CHS have at their disposal against Knapp? There’s a few names to pay attention to, all seniors. Cody Banks, Ben Lemery, Blaine Wagner, Ryan Tracy and Jake Jewell all are hitting around .300 or better this spring for the Red Wolves, who are 16-9 this spring. Jewell, who pitched masterfully in the regional final win last weekend in Tacoma, has signed to play at the community college level next spring, and while we haven’t heard about any of the other seniors, we’d expect most, if not all, of them, will be playing at the college level in some form in 2017.

A couple of other players to watch from Fife are pitcher Cole Connolly, who, if Knapp doesn’t pitch tomorrow, will likely be the one on the mound. He, too, is pretty dominant, with a 6-0 record and eye popping ERA of around ½ run (0.50) a game. Connolly pitched the Trojans’ regional final win in Bellingham last Saturday over Northwest District champion Lynden, who beat the Red Wolves for that district crown, and allowed just one run on six hits in six strong innings of work. Connolly, a senior, is only hitting around .250, but it’s his work on the mound that will be the focus. Chase Anderson is also hitting around .250, but doubled and drove in both of Fife’s runs in their 2-1 regional final win over the Lions last weekend. In a low-scoring game, which this likely will be as CHS will probably send sophomore Aaron Davenport to the mound, and he, as you know, is a pretty tough pitcher as well, a junior like Anderson if he is able to get one in the clutch, could make the difference.

Another factor to pay attention to could be weather and field conditions at the stadium. The weather for this weekend should be all right minus one or two stray rain showers, but the field conditions could be a concern. Earlier this week, on Tuesday, the University of Washington and Washington State University were scheduled to play a non-conference baseball game at YCS, but they canceled the game on account of what the UW described in its report as “unsafe field conditions.” We’d expect the grounds folks over there are working hard to get the field in playable condition in advance of tomorrow’s semifinals, but in any event, the conditions of the field could be something to keep an eye on as, again, if you have a low-scoring ballgame, which we would expect, one bad bounce could affect the outcome.

The winner of the semifinal game will face the winner of a Yakima Valley rivalry showdown between Ellensburg and Selah that will take place prior to the 1:00 first pitch for CHS and Fife. Selah is 23-1 this spring while Ellensburg is 16-5, both very solid marks in the Central Washington Athletic Conference.

Now to the softball.

Red Wolves a title contender at 2A tournament, but draw a challenging foe to open things
CHS’s softball ladies start their tournament tomorrow at 10am over at Carlon Park in Selah against, guess who, the local squad from Selah High School. So a virtual road game for these Red Wolves, but guess what? Their district final was a virtual road game, too, last week, up at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley against Sedro-Woolley’s Cubs, but CHS got it done, winning the Northwest title 13-7.

We couldn’t find a lot of info on the Vikings from Selah, but what we did get suggests this team bears a very striking resemblance to the work product of S-W. The Vikings are 16-7 this season, 15-3 in CWAC play, and they’ve played 12 games this spring (11-1 record) in which they’ve scored 10 or more runs. Similar numbers to what we saw, if you remember us mentioning it in the district final preview, with Sedro-Woolley. With CHS, though, as the home team for this first game, the Red Wolves have the opportunity to set the table, and can do that with the excellent pitching they’ve seen this season from junior Morgan Brown, sophomore Cassidy Derieg and freshman Michaela Carter. Seniors Hailey Lacher and Kayla Blakslee will lead the offense, and sophomore Elaine Townley should also provide some offensive support. This team is deep and they showed that in the district tournament in all three of their games, scoring 38 runs in that Northwest three-game run.

That depth was shown very much so in the district title win last Friday, as all of the players in their lineup had hits, led by three hits – including two doubles – from Brown, and three-hit games as well from Blakslee and Rachel Kent. Another freshman, Hailey Hoke, also contributed, with a hit and two runs scored, so up and down this lineup, it will be a scary sight for the Vikings, to be sure.

If they can survive the virtual road game opener, they’ll move on to face either White River from Buckley or R.A. Long from Longview in the quarters. Sedro-Woolley, defending champ W.F. West from Chehalis, and Ellensburg could be contenders for the state title out of the opposite side of the 16-team bracket.

Another team we will be paying attention to over at Carlon tomorrow is the combined Forest Ridge/Bear Creek team. The dual private school squad made up of girls from Forest Ridge School in Bellevue and Bear Creek School in Redmond features pitcher Colleen Campbell, from Snoqualmie. FR made it out of the West Central District tournament as a Kingco representative, even though the team played as an independent team this spring. The two schools are both 1A entities, but the team played up at the 2A level this season. FR/BC meets W.F. West in their first game tomorrow, and could face S-W in their second game should they get a win over the Bearcats.

We hope you enjoy the action tomorrow over on the east side of the Cascades. Coming up, travel info to help you plan your weekend.

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Wednesday news….

It was a strong day on the links yesterday for the delegation of Valley high school golfers competing at this week’s WIAA state high school golf championships over in the Tri-Cities. Five of the six made it into today’s final round after making the cut out of yesterday’s first round of action.

Both golfers representing Cedarcrest High School made it into today’s second round at the 2A girls tournament, although one made it in just barely. Casey Spurr fired a round of 90 on the par-72 Columbia Point Golf Course layout in Richland and goes into today in 16th place overall, well behind leader Kenedee Peters from Ephrata, who carded a 77 in her opening round. Holland Seamons fired a 99 and finished in a tie for 40th; only the top 40 plus ties made it to today’s final round. She goes out this morning at 8:00 am for her final round, while Spurr tees off at 9:12am.

Meanwhile, at Meadow Springs Golf Course in Kennewick, the Mount Si High School boys moved two of their three representatives into today’s final round of play at the 4A boys’ tournament. Jimmy Jacobson and Alex Nelson both carded 79’s on the par-72 layout located west of Columbia Center Mall. They both finished day one in a tie for 27th. Teammate Mitchell Dover fired an 87 and missed the cut. Nelson tees off at 7:54am this morning, while Jacobson goes out shortly thereafter, at 8:02am.

Across the Columbia River in Pasco, Mount Si’s Caitlin Maralack pocketed a 77 on the par-72 Sun Willows Golf Course layout, and that puts her in a tie for 13th going into today’s final day of action at the 4A girls’ tournament. She tees off a little after 8:30 this morning in her final round.

We’ll keep you posted on what happens over in the Tri-Cities this morning.

Now to the youth baseball/softball scoreboard:

Baseball: Bellevue Baseball Club 8, Washington A’s 16U 0-The Bellevue-based BBC scored five runs in the first and cruised to the win over the Sammamish-based A’s at Interlake High School. Mount Si High School’s Ethan “Moose” Read was 1-2 for the A’s, while fellow Wildcat Jake Ayers was 0-2.

Softball: Redmond punches third Kingco 4A berth to WIAA high school state tournament-Redmond finished off a 5-0 win last night over Battle Ground of the Greater St. Helens League down at Battle Ground High School in Clark County in a game that was started back on Saturday but was suspended in the fifth inning due to rain. Kaija Gibson’s fifth-inning grand slam was the key hit for the Mustangs, and pitcher Kiki Milloy did the rest, going the distance in the circle, allowing just six hits while striking out eight. Lindsey Tsujikawa went 3-3 for Redmond, who now heads to state over in Spokane this weekend and joins Kingco 4A rivals Woodinville and Skyline there. Danielle Joli was 2-3 to lead BG.

Baseball: FM Sports 4, WW Sweets 2-Redmond-based FM doubled up the Sammamish-based Sweets last night at Eastlake High School in Sammamish; Mount Si High School’s Dusty Dover and Jesiah Irish both went 0-3 for the Sweets in the game. Irish also pitched, going 1 1/3 innings and allowing a run on one hit, walking four and striking out two with no decision.

Also:

Six Valley athletes to start college careers in community colleges
Six Valley senior high school athletes have opted to go the community college route for their college athletic opportunities next season, signing with schools in the Northwest Athletic Conference, representing community colleges around the region.

Four of them have signed letters of intent with Bellevue College. They include Mount Si High School’s Ryan Fischer (men’s basketball), Curstyn Williamson (women’s soccer) and Reid Lutz (baseball), and Cedarcrest High School’s Dominic Giampapa (men’s soccer). The other two have signed letters of intent with league rivals of Bellevue’s. Cedarcrest High School baseball player Jake Jewell, who won our Athlete of the Week this week on the strength of his great pitching performance last weekend in the state 2A regionals, signed with Shoreline Community College and will play baseball there next spring, while Mount Si High School boys’ basketball star Danny Tomson will take his hoops talents to Edmonds Community College, signing his letter of intent with the Snohomish County school.

These six athletes join a good-sized number of Valley high school seniors who have signed letters of intent to compete in college athletics at the four-year level; this group includes Cedarcrest High School’s Maggie Richey (Utah State University women’s soccer) and Sydney Kuehn (Northwest Nazarene women’s soccer) and Mount Si High School’s Colton Swain (Eastern Washington University football) and Parker Dumas (University of Wyoming football).

The SVSJ offers its congratulations on those signings.

CHS to face Selah in opening round of state softball tournament
Cedarcrest High School yesterday learned that their girls’ softball team will meet Selah in the opening round of the state 2A high school softball tournament Friday at Carlon Park in Selah. CHS goes into the tournament as the Northwest District champions, after winning their district tournament last week. We’ll look to preview the tournament for you later today hopefully.

We should also add that the combined Bear Creek/Forest Ridge team from Bellevue that will be representing Kingco at the 2A tournament has a local player – Snoqualmie resident Colleen Campbell, who pitches for the team. They meet W.F. West of Chehalis in their first round matchup tomorrow. We’ll have coverage of them as well during the course of the tournament.

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Athletes of the Week for 5-25, but first, news on MSHS grad Reece Karalus……

Athlete of the Week in a moment, but a quick pro baseball note:

North Bend’s Reece Karalus had another big outing on the mound last night, and it helped his team stay in the game, as they rallied late to tie before winning their game in extra innings.

The Bowling Green Hot Rods from Kentucky trailed the Dayton Dragons 6-1 after two innings, but Karalus came in and threw 4 1/3 innings of one-hit, shutout baseball, striking out five in relief of starter Roel Ramirez. The Tampa Bay Rays-affiliated Hot Rods tied the game in the fifth, then again in the ninth before winning it with two runs in the 10th, as Bowling Green won 8-6 in a Midwest “A” League game in Dayton, OH.

Last night’s outing was the longest of the season for the 2012 Mount Si HS grad, and it continued a promising trend for the Valleyite. In his last five outings dating back to May 2, Karalus has only allowed eight hits, one walk and one run, striking out 13 in that span to see his ERA drop to a solid 3.12. It had been around five prior to this strong stretch of outings.

Karalus, for those unaware, is in his second professional season after being drafted in last year’s Major League Baseball draft by the Rays.

With that done, it’s time now for our Athletes of the Week. Boys this week and we have baseball for both of these. We should mention we’ll wrap up our AotW’s next week with one from each of the boys and girls, then close out the year the first week of June with our Athletes of the Year for both the boys and girls from Mount Si and Cedarcrest High Schools.

CEDARCREST – The Red Wolves are headed to Yakima for the state 2A baseball semifinals this weekend thanks to a big pitching performance Sunday from our AotW this week. Jake Jewell threw a complete game three-hitter, allowing only one run, striking out five and, for good measure, hit the all-important two-RBI single in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie and lift Cedarcrest to an impressive 5-1 win in their 2A regional final in Parkland over Liberty. In our preview of this game on Saturday, we suggested the Patriots would win because of their overall league strength being one of seven teams from the Kingco Conference to make the Washington state high school baseball playoffs this spring from 2A to 4A. Well, Jewell made sure our assessment proved incorrect, and he has been getting it done all season. Now 6-1 with an ERA of under two runs a game, Jewell and his CHS teammates face Fife on Friday at the semifinals in Yakima with an eye on going for the whole kit and caboodle on Saturday.

MOUNT SI – Senior pitcher/3B Jimmy Boyce gave it his all on Saturday in the Wildcats’ 1-0 loss to Gig Harbor at the 4A regionals in Puyallup that ended Mount Si’s season too soon in our view. Boyce allowed only one run on six hits, striking out nine, which on a normal day would have earned the senior a win, but because the GH pitcher was that much better, pitching a three-hit shutout, it proved to not be enough. Still, though, the story of Boyce’s season we think one day could end up being a nice script for a Hollywood movie. Pitch for your native country in a major international baseball tournament, then have to fight in order to play your senior high school season with a group of kids that grew very close and unified as a team as the season wore on, then win that battle and proceed to have a dominant spring, going 3-1 with an ERA of under two and finish with a batting average of over .400, pitching a two-hitter with your season on the line in the playoff opener earlier this month against Newport, then do what you did on Saturday? Just an awesome story to be sure, and maybe the fitting end will be when he finds a college or pro opportunity later this year. The MLB draft is around the corner….could this young man hear his name called? We’ll see.

Posted in Athletes of the Week 2015-16, On the Diamond | Leave a comment