DeSales regional baseball champs, into state semifinals

DeSales defeats Mary Walker, 18-1, and Kittitas, 5-2, Saturday at Borleske to earn the title and the semifinal berth.

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WALLA WALLA - DeSales pitcher Victor Mata did his best "Iron Man" impression Saturday afternoon during Class 2B Region IV baseball action at Borleske Stadium.

The junior right-hander tossed 10 innings on the day as the Irish claimed the regional championship and earned a berth in next weekend's state semifinals with victories over Mary Walker, 18-1, and Kittitas, 5-2.

"Our guys played pretty good," DeSales coach Kim Cox said. "We did a lot of good things. I was pretty pleased overall."

Mata threw a complete-game, four-hitter against the Coyotes after hurling the first three frames in DeSales' rout of the Chargers.

"Vic Mata was a horse," Cox said. "We didn't plan on him throwing seven innings in the second game. It was pretty beneficial to pull him (against Mary Walker) with a low pitch count."

The Irish will take a 20-3 overall record into a semifinal showdown with Colfax on Friday at 7 p.m. on Yakima Valley College's Parker Field. The winner will advance to Saturday's championship game at 4 p.m. The loser plays at 1 p.m. Saturday for third place.

"Going into the season, we had a lot of catching up to do, but it's been enjoyable to watch," Cox said. "Since the end of March, we've been really gelling into a team.

"We're going to face a formidable challenge," Cox said of his team's upcoming contest with Colfax. "They have a lot of guys back, an experienced club. We're going to have to play really well in that semi.

"Our guys are looking forward to it," Cox said. "They haven't backed away from a challenge yet, so they shouldn't start now."

In Saturday's opener, Kittitas punched its ticket for the regional final with a 15-7 win over Lind-Ritzville.

DeSales 5, Kittitas 2

The Irish took advantage of a Coyotes' error to plate the game's first run in the third inning and, after yielding the tying tally in the fourth, took the lead for good with a run in the fourth on a wild pitch.

Freshman Joe Duehn, in the game as a courtesy runner in the fifth inning, gave DeSales a 3-1 edge by scoring after a botched pickle that occurred after an unsuccessful squeeze bunt. Later in the stanza, Travis Haen pushed a squeeze between the pitcher's mound and first base that got the Irish their fourth run.

Pat Richard produced run No. 5 for DeSales with a single to center field in the sixth.

A pair of Irish snafus in the seventh inning opened the door for the Coyotes, but they managed just one run and left the bases loaded.

DeSales had seven hitters with at least one knock in the game. Tommy Gregg led the way with three.

DeSales 18, Mary Walker 1

The Irish put up crooked numbers in all but one of the six innings in which they batted in their short-circuiting of the Chargers.

DeSales scored three times in the first. Richard delivered the first run with a triple that one-hopped the right-field fence. Mata and Haen followed with run-scoring singles.

Kyle Lindgren's two-RBI double started the scoring in a four-run second. Haen and Brandon Arellano added singles that resulted in a run apiece.

Lindgren highlighted a five-run third inning with a two-run single.

The Irish increased their lead to 14-0 in the fourth on Dan Solomon's two-run single to right.

DeSales scored one run in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded walk issued to Lindgren and tacked on three runs in the sixth. Lindgren and Haen connected for RBI singles in inning six.

"Travis swung the bat well," Cox said. "Mechanically, he's pretty good. He loves playing the game."

DeSales 5, Kittitas 2

Kittitas 000 100 1 - 2 4 4

DeSales 010 121 x - 5 9 4

Sorensen and T. Studer; Mata and Wujek.

HR - none.

Hits - Kittitas: Brooks, T. Studer, Sorensen, Fogle; DeSales: Gregg 3, Lindgren, Hoeft, Smith, Mata, Arellano, Richard.

DeSales 18, Mary Walker 1

Mary Walker 000 000 1 - 1 2 0

DeSales 345 213 x - 18 13 0

Parker, Abrahamson (3), Sanchez (6) and Hegel; Mata, Richard (4), Wujek (7) and Wujek, Mata (7).

HR - none.

Hits - Mary Walker: Abrahamson 2; DeSales: Haen 3, Lindgren 3, Richard 2, Wujek 2, Mata, Arellano, Solomon.

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