Bombers have best ever start to a baseball season in Richland High School history

It’s been a season of historic proportions for Grant Richardson’s Richland baseball team.

The Bombers ran through the competition during the Mid-Columbia Conference regular season, going a perfect 16-0 in MCC play to earn their 33rd conference title in the school’s history.

Richland also went unbeaten in non-league play at 4-0, and its 20-0 start to the season is the best ever for the Bombers baseball team.

In last Friday’s big doubleheader, host Richland just needed one win over Kamiakin to clinch the MCC title.

The Bombers got that with a 4-0 victory, in which Alec Ammerman scattered 6 hits in a complete-game shutout.

Ammerman struck out just two Kamiakin batters, letting his defense do much of the heavy lifting.

The Bombers got all four of their runs in the bottom of the second inning. John Simons reached on a walk, stole second, then scored on Carter Upmeyer’s single up the middle.

Hayden Galloway added an RBI double that hit the bottom of the left field wall on the fly, while John Corbin’s single to left added another run. Chris Daniels also drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.

Thanks to Richland High coach and teacher Tait Meyer — who put together MCC stats — we know that while Kamiakin had the top offense in the MCC (Richland was No. 2), the Bombers had the best pitching staff.

Here are some statistical highlights from this season:

Kennewick’s Dane Chavez was the top hitter, finishing with 34 hits and a .479 batting average — both MCC bests. Hermiston’s JR Starr (.471) and Hanford’s Colin Dorsett (.465) were second and third, respectively, in batting average.

Kennewick’s Conner Salsbury led the league in runs batted in with 25. Rylen Blair of Chiawana and Kennewick’s Dierks Chavez were tied for second with 21 each.

It wasn’t home run-happy season, as Richland’s Chris Daniels led the MCC with two round-trippers. A number of players had one.

Hanford’s Trevor Kaiser (44.1 innings pitched) and Southridge’s Jabari Simon (43) were workhorses for their respective teams, putting in the work.

As might be expected, those two also struck out the most batters. Simon was first with 52, while Kaiser had 45. Richland’s Dallas Bennett was third with 42.

Bennett and his Richland teammate, Ammerman, each had 6 wins to lead the MCC.

Ammerman had the best earned run average at 0.55, while Benmet was second at 0.70. Kennewick’s Leyton Lind — who was the most efficient in the MCC with an average of 12.2 pitches per inning — was third in ERA at 1.52.

Here are individual leaders in some other offensive categories: Doubles — Austin Guier, Southridge, 9; Triples — Deagan Quesenberry, Kamiakin, 4; Stolen bases — Talan Thai, Kamiakin, 19; Total bases — JR Starr, Hermiston, 38; Walks — Chris Daniels, Richland, 18; Runs scored — Dane Chavez, Kennewick, 28.

Final MCC standings and upcoming playoffs

With those two losses to Richland last Friday, Kamiakin dropped into third place.

Kennewick leaped into second place and will be the MCC’s top seed heading into the District 8 Class 3A tournament that begins Saturday at various sites.

Richland, of course, will be the top MCC seed in the 4A tournament, while Kamiakin will be the second MCC seed.

Kamiakin, Kennewick, Richland and Southridge all host first-round tournament games on Saturday.

Only Hermiston, the fourth MCC 3A team, will not play in the district tournament because only the top 3A MCC teams qualify.

As for state tournament berths, the top two teams to place in 4A advance. The top three teams in the 3A district tournament qualify for the state tournament.

MCC Baseball

Final regular season standings

1, Richland (4A) 16-0 MCC, 20-0 overall

2, Kennewick (3A) 13-3, 18-3

3, Kamiakin (4A) 12-4, 16-4

4, Chiawana (4A) 9-7, 11-10

5, Hanford (4A) 8-8, 11-10

6, Southridge (3A) 7-9, 9-11

7, Walla Walla (3A) 4-12, 7-13

8, Hermiston (3A) 3-13, 4-15

9, Pasco (4A) 0-16, 0-20

April 26: Hanford 7, Walla Walla 0; Hanford 6, Walla Walla 3; Kennewick 14, Hermiston 4; Kennewick 12, Hermiston 0; Richland 4, Kamiakin 0; Richland 4, Kamiakin 3; Southridge 13, Pasco 5; Southridge 20, Pasco 0.

April 30: Chiawana 14, Pasco 0; Kamiakin 10, Hermiston 2; Kennewick 12, Hanford 7; Richland 7, Southridge 3.


Saturday, May 4

Game 1, Pasco at Richland, 1 p.m.

Game 2, Chiawana at Central Valley, 1 p.m.

Game 3, Lewis & Clark at Kamiakin, LaPierre Field, 1 p.m.

Game 4, Hanford at Gonzaga Prep, 1 p.m.


Saturday, May 4

Game 1, Cheney at Ridgeline, 12 p.m.

Game 2, Mead at Southridge, 12 p.m.

Game 3, Walla Walla at Mt. Spokane, 1 p.m.

Game 4, University at Kennewick, Roy Johnson Field, 12 p.m.


Back on January 21, the WIAA executive assembly awarded Pasco’s Gesa Stadium the Class 4A and 3A state baseball semifinals and finals after a one-year hiatus.

Those dates are May 24 and 25.

The 1A and 2A semifinals/finals will be at Joe Martin Stadium at Bellingham, while the 1B and 2B semifinals/finals are set for Ephrata High School.

Meanwhile, the executive board approved a contract extension with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) streaming prep sports events through 2033.

The executive board have been looking at a number of resolutions over this past month.

Among those resolutions are adding esports, girls badminton and girls flag football under the jurisdiction of the WIAA.

Board members have been voting since April 24, and can still vote by May 3, on the issues.

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Herald.