SPOKANE - Wa-Hi's baseball team earned its first trip to the regional tournament with a 4-0 victory over Gonzaga Prep in a sub-regional loser-out game Tuesday, before handing Ferris a 12-0 shutout.
"Obviously, it's a couple of very big wins for us and our program," Blue Devils coach Keith Gradwohl said. "We had great pitching, solid hitting and what we call ‘gangster baserunning.'"
In the opening win, Jake Campeau continued his stellar work on the mound for Wa-Hi, striking out the side in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings while piling put 11 Ks.
"He's throwing a nasty slider that people are not able to make contact with," Gradwohl said. "He was in total command. One guy reached third base the whole game."
Conor Holbrook had two RBIs in the opener, with Wa-Hi plating solo runs in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Kevin Toon had a lead-off solo homer in the fifth.
In the second game, Wa-Hi faced 18-2 Ferris.
"We took game two as a challenge," Gradwohl said. "We'd read about Ferris' pitcher (Spencer Ansett) who had no-hit Mead in their district game."
The Blue Devils showed Ansett what their bats brought in the first inning. Moe Handcox led off with a sharp single to center field, followed by Jake Jimenez's single up the middle. After an Ansett strikeout, Matt Watson smacked a three-run home run which was immediately followed by Campeau's solo homer to put Wa-Hi up 4-0.
Michael Pontarolo then singled, and after the second out of the inning Brett Christina singled up the middle, and Holbrook added to his RBI total on the day with a three-run home run to left that left it 7-0 Blue Devils and Ferris yet to bat.
Wa-Hi sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning.
Matt Watson then took over on the mound for Wa-Hi, recording seven strikeouts over six innings and walking none.
"He was on top of his game," Gradwohl said of Watson's outing.
Drew Christina then came in to strike out the side in the seventh.
Other Wa-Hi highlights included Moe Handcox's two-run home run in the fourth inning.
Holbrook finished with six RBIs on the day.
"We had a great fan-following, and Ferris had a lot of fans," Gradwohl said. "It was a nice high-school atmosphere. It was a big day for us. I was happy with the results."
Wa-Hi now plays Richland Saturday, tentatively at noon at Hanford, for seeding to the regional tournament May 21 at Yakima County Stadium.
For the Blue Devils, now 19-6 on the season, "this is the farthest a Wa-Hi team has been since they went to regional in 1991," Gradwohl said. "This is pretty big for us. The kids see themselves playing farther, so we have more work to do."
Wa-Hi 4, Gonzaga Prep 0
Gon 000 000 0 - 0 2 1
Wa-Hi 010 111 x - 4 7 1
Bratner and Bonneau. Campeau and Holbrook.
HR - Wa-Hi: Toon.
Hits - Gon: Bonneau, Renorud. Wa-Hi: Toon 2, Watson, Pontarolo, B. Christina 2, Holbrook.
Wa-Hi 12, Ferris 0
Wa-Hi 720 300 0 - 12 16 1
Ferris 000 000 0 - 0 5 1
Watson, D. Christina (7) and Holbrook. Ansett, Renner (3), Yoshihara (4) and Krustangel.
HR - Wa-Hi: Watson, Campeau, Holbrook, Handcox.
Hits - Wa-Hi: Handcox 4, Jimenez 3, Watson, Campeau, Pontarolo 3, Lemke, B. Christina, Holbrook 2. Ferris: Bozett, Krustangel 2, Kuy, Jones.