District baseball: Central Valley, Mt. Spokane, Shadle Park take Greater Spokane League top seeds into district play

May 5—After a typically tense Greater Spokane League regular season, baseball heads into districts starting this weekend.

All three GSL 4A teams qualified for the District 8 tournament.

The top five 3A teams advanced to postseason play against the best from the Mid-Columbia Conference.

In 2A, all six teams participate in district play starting on Monday.

Here's a look at the seeds, matchups and outlook for each of the teams.


Big picture: It was a bit of a down year for the 4A teams as the top seed, Central Valley, finished under .500 and sixth in the GSL in a tiebreaker over Gonzaga Prep.

By comparison, MCC top seeded Kamiakin — the No. 2 seed in the tourney due to preselected conference allotments — was 17-4 overall.

(1) Central Valley (8-12, 8-10): The Bears earn the top seed despite a losing overall record since it was the GSL's turn to have the No. 1 seed. CV enters the tourney on a three-game skid and losers of five of its past six games. Kayden Lanphere and Joe Pitts are leaders. First round: Host No. 7 Chiawana (7-13, 6-10 MCC), Saturday noon.

(3) Gonzaga Prep (10-11, 8-10): The Bullpups won four in a row for coach Brian Munhall in mid-April but have gone 1-3 down the stretch, splitting against CV and dropping a pair to University. Grant Yost (.364) and Luke Brown (.392) pace the offense, and Henry Sandberg (2.62 ERA) and Brown (1.98 ERA) are pitching leaders. G-Prep's last trip to state was 2016. First round: Host No. 6 Hanford (9-10, 6-10 MCC), Saturday 1 p.m.

(5) Lewis and Clark (7-13, 6-12): Coach Steve Bennett is looking for "some special pitching performances" in an attempt to advance to state for the first time since 2014. The Tigers are led by Parker Ereaux, who has hit .448 with 25 stolen bases, and Cooper Jeffries (.306). First round: At No. 4 Richland (16-5), Saturday noon.


Big picture: As has been the case the past few years, Mt. Spokane and U-Hi battled through the final weekend for the top spot, but the Wildcats' early-season sweep held all season as Mt. Spokane won the league by one game over the Titans.

Cheney and Mead also posted winning records with double-digit win totals and have presented matchup problems all season.

(2) Mt. Spokane (17-4, 16-2): The league-champion Wildcats scored in double digits in 12 of 18 league games this season but were held to fewer than four runs in all four games they dropped. Mt. Spokane reached the state semifinals last season and knocked off No. 1 West Seattle in the third-place game. Drew Rayment has had an impressive season on the mound with Rece Schuerman, Josh Tillett, Brayten Ayers and San Davidson in support. First round: Host No. 8 Ridgeline (10-10, 9-9), Saturday 1 p.m.

(4) University (17-4, 15-3): The 2022 GSL champs enter districts winners of 15 in row after dropping their first three league games, a pair to Mt. Spokane and splitting with Ridgeline. The Titans are led by pitcher/1B Tyler Boden, who has thrown three no-hitters this season, Dom Longo and Jalen King. Freshman Elijah Williams has been an asset on the mound when Boden is unavailable. First round: Host No. 5 Southridge (13-8, 9-7 MCC), Saturday 3 p.m.

(6) Cheney (14-6, 12-6): The Blackhawks won their last six games, including a pair over Ridgeline, after dropping four straight to Mt. Spokane and U-Hi in mid-April. Jamel Chabot, Quinn Hubbs and Brayden Martin have been leaders. First round: At No. 3 Walla Walla (12-7, 10-6 MCC), Saturday 1 p.m.

(7) Mead (12-9, 11-7): The Panthers finished the season on an 8-2 run. Their last trip to state was 2018. To get back, they will lean on Emerson Fleck (.400, two homers, 16 RBIs), Max Workman (.340, 20 RBIs) and Xavier Hattenburg (.389, .488 on base). "We've battled through anything that could be thrown at us," coach Steve Hare said. First round: At No. 1 Kennewick (18-2), Saturday noon.

(8) Ridgeline (10-10, 9-9): The Falcons, who own wins over Mt. Spokane, University and Mead this season, still start four or five freshman each game and are looking for their first trip to state. "When we've played good defense, we are very hard to beat," coach Jeramie Maupin said. Leading the charge is Caden Andreas (.311 with .530 on-base, 18 stolen bases) and Nate Fitzpatrick, who has a 2.52 ERA with 41 strikeouts. First round: At No. 2 Mt. Spokane (17-4, 16-2).


Big picture: Four teams battled at the top of the division all season and the league title came down to a makeup game on Friday, with Clarkston traveling to face Shadle Park in the last regular-season game of the season.

Andrew Fox twirled a gem for Shadle, striking out nine over six innings, and the Highlanders beat the Bantams 6-0 and secured the top seed to districts. The first round and semifinals take place Monday.

Shadle will host the winner between fourth-seeded West Valley (13-7, 10-5) and fifth-seeded Rogers (4-16, 3-12). Clarkston hosts the winner between third-seeded Pullman (13-8, 10-5) and sixth-seeded East Valley (0-17, 0-15).

The championship game is Tuesday, with both teams advancing to the District 5/6/8 crossover on Saturday.