Tigers, Spudders, Wildcats advance to state baseball tourney

Prairie Falcons fall short


The high school state baseball tournament begins this week in Washington, with three area teams slated to play.

The Battle Ground Tigers advanced in 4A, while the Ridgefield Spudders punched their ticket in 2A and the La Center Wildcats earned their way, as well.

The Prairie Falcons were knocked out of the 3A District 3/4 tournament on Wednesday, May 8, after suffering an 11-10 loss to Capital High School.

Battle Ground

The Tigers devoured their way into the 4A state tournament with three straight wins, two of them loser-out, to start the 4A District 3/4 Tournament. The No. 12-seed Tigers will face No. 5 seed-North Creek High School at 1 p.m., Friday, May 18, at Eastlake High School in Sammamish in round one of the state tournament.

The Tigers gained the lead in the sixth inning of game one to beat Graham-Kapowsin High School, 3-2, on Tuesday, May 7. Sophomore James Gill threw 99 pitches across all seven innings for a complete game and tied the game in the sixth inning with a home run to hit 2-3 at the plate.

Gill once again led the Tigers to a win with five RBIs on two hits — a home run and a sacrifice fly — while senior Jackson Hotchkiss batted 4-4 with three RBIs during their 10-0 win over the Decatur Gators on Wednesday, May 8. Sophomore Ethan Adams pitched for six full innings in the win, as well.

The Tigers punched their ticket after nine innings in a 4-3 win over Kentwood High School on Saturday, May 11. Junior Noah Newton pitched for five innings while Gill added four innings on the mound in the win. The Tigers stacked up six hits, with Noah Salyers hitting the game-winning single and Keegan Moffatt scoring to close it off in extras.


The Ridgefield Spudders faced elimination in their final game of the 2A District 4 tournament. They advanced to the state tournament as the No. 12 seed and will play No. 5 seed-Selah High School at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 18, at Daniels Field in Anacortes.

Rocco Wright led the Spudders to victory from the mound in game one against Rochester High School with a seven-inning shutout for a 2-0 win on Tuesday, May 7. Senior Nate Olmos drove in junior Liam Ostrom with a single for the game-winning run.

The WF West Bearcats from Chehalis shut out the Spudders, 8-0, in the second round of districts on Wednesday, May 8

In the loser’s bracket on Saturday, May 11, the Spudders bounced back to beat Mark Morris High School of Longview, 6-0. Wright again pitched a complete game, no hitter to lead the Spudders to the state tournament in the win. Ridgefield added four runs in the fourth inning and two in the sixth with 12 hits in the game.

La Center

The La Center Wildcats conquered the 1A District 4 Tournament’s loser’s bracket to earn their way into the state tournament. La Center earned the No. 7 seed and will play No. 10-seed Freeman High School at 1 p.m., Friday, May 18, at Joe Martin Stadium in Bellingham. With a win, the Wildcats will play later that day at Joe Martin Stadium, with the time to be determined.

The Wildcats started the district tournament on Monday, May 6, with an 11-1 win over Eatonville High School, with senior Smith Stimmel pitching six innings for the win. They racked up 14 hits in just six innings.

In game two of the district tournament, the Wildcats fell to Tenino High School in a 3-1 loss on Friday, May 3.

After moving into the loser’s bracket, La Center defeated Elma High School, 8-0, on Friday, May 10. Junior Austin Aseph pitched a complete seven innings while the batters cranked out 11 hits in the win.

To earn a state berth, La Center beat Montesano High School, 4-2, on Saturday, May 11. Stimmel and junior Justin Fuller were the only Wildcats to record hits in the win. Fuller also pitched five innings with eight strikeouts, while senior Garrett Maunu closed the game with two innings on the mound.