Prep Baseball & Softball Endgame: Seven Local Teams Get Ready for the Final Weekend of the Postseason


The prep stick-and-ball season comes to an end over Memorial Day weekend. Here’s a quick look at which local baseball and softball teams are still alive and what they’re up against on Friday and Saturday.


2A (at Joe Martin Stadium, Bellingham)


How they got here: Beat Grandview 8-2 in the first round, beat Archbishop Murphy 11-0 in the semifinals

Next matchup: vs. No. 3 W.F. West, Friday at 4 p.m. Winner to the championship game, loser to the third-place game

Storyline: Who gets the ball? Tumwater has relied on its deadly duo of Alex Overbay and Trenton Gaither to pitch as many innings as they can, and has faltered when they’re out (see that district title game loss). Gaither struggled early against Grandview before exiting early in the second inning with an ankle injury. If he’s good to go, which ace gets the ball first? If he’s not, will the T-Birds get as much out of Overbay as possible Friday, gamble and save him for Saturday, or try to split his workload?


W.F. West

How they got here: Beat Port Angeles 10-0 in the first round, beat White River 8-5 in the quarterfinals.

Next matchup: vs. No. 3 Tumwater, Friday at 4 p.m. Winner to the championship game, loser to the third-place game

Storyline: Can the Bearcats get into Tumwater’s bullpen? When the T-Birds swept the league series against W.F. West, the Bearcats managed just four hits off of Overbay and Gaither. When those two were out of the picture in the district title game, W.F. West beat the Tumwater bullpen 11-8, rallying for nine runs in the final three innings. WFW’s own bullpen is possibly the deepest in the state, meaning Jesse Elam can have the shortest of leashes for anyone struggling on that given day; he already did that once against White River, using five arms through seven innings. The Bearcats would love to match the T-Birds reliever for reliever, but need to get past the two aces to do so.


2B (at Johnson-O’Brien Stadium, Ephrata)


How they got here: Beat Cle Elum-Roslyn 3-0 in the first round, beat Chewelah 6-4 in the quarterfinals

Next matchup: vs. No. 2 Toutle Lake, Friday at 4 p.m. Winner to the championship game, loser to the third-place game

Storyline: Can Adna shorten the game? It goes without saying that hits are going to be hard to come by against whichever starter Toutle Lake trots out to throw, be it Zach Swanson or Connor Cox. But if the Pirates can keep the Ducks from running away with things in the first couple innings and turn it into a matter of whoever scores first wins, they might have a puncher’s chance. That’s how Toledo did it to beat Toutle to start the season, and if there’s anybody who looks up to the task of matching the Ducks’ aces zero for zero at the moment, it’s Adna’s Tristan Percival.



2A (Carlon Park, Selah)


How they got here: Finished second in the 2A District 4 tournament

Next matchup: vs. No. 8 Lynden, Friday at 11 a.m. Winner plays at 3 p.m. in the quarterfinals, loser plays a loser-out game at 1:30 p.m.

Storyline: How far can the Tigers take this? Centralia’s run this season has without a doubt the surprise of the spring, and it’s based around one simple fact: The Tigers can beat — or lose to — just about anybody on any given day. Going into the district tournament, Centralia had beaten every team in the 2A EvCo, with the exception of Aberdeen — and it subsequently beat the Bobcats in the semifinals. They’re going to be the newcomers, facing a Lynden side that has made State nine of the past 10 postseasons, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s to never bet against these Tigers.


2B (Gateway Sports Complex, Yakima)


How they got here: Finished second in the 2B District 4 tournament

Next matchup: vs. winner of No. 8 Colfax and No. 9 Raymond-South Bend, Friday at 2 p.m. Winner plays in the semifinals Saturday, loser plays a loser-out game Saturday

Storyline: Will Adna get another crack at Jessie Gilbert? The best arm in District 4 capped off the most dominant district tournament in recent memory by making the most powerful lineup in the state look awfully foolish. Should Adna get past its first-round matchup (and Ocosta win its own), the Pirates would get to face the Wildcats again, with revenge on its mind. The ball comes out of Gilbert’s hands real fast, and the question will be whether a fourth and fifth time through the order will let Adna get on-time to it.


Pe Ell-Willapa Valley

How they got here: Finished third in the 2B District 4 tournament

Next matchup: vs. No. 11 Kittitas, Friday at 10 a.m. Winner faces No. 3 Okanogan at 2 p.m., loser is out

Storyline: Can the champs repeat? PWV has a whole lot of new faces from its lineup that hoisted the biggest trophy last season, but the Titans have only met one 2B pitcher that’s been able to shut them down all year, and as it happens, Jessie Gilbert is on the other side of the bracket. The only high seeds the Titans have to worry about before the finals are No. 3 Okanogan and No. 2 Warden, and while both the Bulldogs and the Cougars have run through their schedules, past softball seasons have taught us that like in football, it’s safest to assume District 4 supremacy until proven otherwise.


1B (At Gateway Sports Complex, Yakima)


How they got here: Won the 1B District 4 tournament

Next matchup: vs. No. 3 Sunnyside Christian, Friday at noon. Winner plays in the semifinals at 4 p.m., loser plays a loser-out game at 4 p.m.

Storyline: Who is this Mossyrock team? No, really. The Vikings haven’t played in a game decided by five runs or fewer since March 15, with a schedule that was about half 1B Coastal League games (many of which were forfeited) and half non-league games against old Central 2B League friends (they finished 3-5 in such). Between rain and forfeits, their season was so sparse that they ended up scheduling a quasi-scrimmage against Darrington this past Monday just to get some innings in — for what it’s worth, they won that game 22-12. The state tournament is almost certain to include some actual tests, and we don’t have much in the way of prior data to know how Mossyrock will fare in close situations.