Irish settle for fourth at baseball tourney

DeSales falls to Seattle Lutheran, 12-7, in Friday's state semifinal, and then is tripped up by LaConner, 5-4, in the third-fourth-place game.

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DeSales' Tim Caudill (second from right) is thrown out at second base against LaConner Saturday.

YAKIMA - The 2011 baseball season ended with semifinal and consolation defeats for the DeSales Irish at the Class 2B state baseball playoffs that wrapped up here Saturday at Yakima Valley College's Parker Field.

DeSales allowed three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday and succumbed to LaConner, 5-4.

The Irish allowed 11 runs and 13 hits over the final three innings on Friday during a 12-7 loss to defending state champion Seattle Lutheran.

In Friday's other semifinal, Warden downed LaConner, 9-4.

Seattle Lutheran defended its title with a 7-1 win over Warden in Saturday's championship game.

LaConner 5, DeSales 4

Matt McCauley's RBI single to center field, his fourth hit of the game, capped the Braves' come-from-behind triumph in the battle for places three and four.

LaConner took a 1-0 lead in the first on a two-out single by Tyler Howlett.

This occurred after the Irish stranded a runner at second base in the top half of inning one. It was one of 10 DeSales left on base in the game.

Irish frustration continued in the second and third frames. DeSales had a runner picked off of first base in the second and loaded the bases with one out in the third, only to have the threat end with a check-swing line out to first and a strikeout.

Trailing 2-0 in the fifth, the Irish again loaded the bases with one out. Tommy Gregg hit a bouncer to the right side that took a bad hop, glanced off the glove of LaConner second baseman David Carr, and rolled into shallow right field. Darryl Galloway and Travis Haen scored on the play to knot the score at 2-2.

The frame, though productive, ended with the sacks full.

Haen gave DeSales the lead with a two-run single to center in the sixth. Logan Hoeft led off the inning with a walk and gave way to courtesy runner Kyler Pommerening. Brandon Arellano followed with a base on balls. Both runners moved up on a Galloway sacrifice bunt.

The Braves outhit the Irish 14-7.

"We lost that game at the plate," said DeSales coach Kim Cox, who pointed to, among other things, a lack of good swings as a reason for his team's poor offensive showing. "It's kind of the way it seems sometimes. Right when you think you can grab it (a victory), it trickles away from you.

"We're not happy with getting fourth," Cox said. "We deserved fourth based on our execution in crucial situations."

Seattle Lutheran 12, DeSales 7

The Saints marched into the title contest by toppling the Irish on Friday night.

An Evan Clements' check-swing single to right plated the first run of the game in the top half of the initial inning.

It stayed 1-0 until the fourth when Haen looped a two-out single to center to score two runs.

But the Saints sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth inning and scored seven times on six hits against DeSales starter Vic Mata, who allowed just one hit in innings two, three and four combined after yielding a run on two hits in the first.

"They'd get on a ball and hit it deep," Cox said.

The Irish scored four times in their portion of inning five. Tim Caudill brought home the first run of the stanza with a single to left, Kyle Lindgren drilled a two-RBI triple to right-center, and Arellano blooped an RBI single to center.

Seattle Lutheran put the game away with two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.

Mata lined an RBI single to left in the sixth to account for the final Irish run of the game.

"We got beat by a better outfit," Cox said. "They're bigger, faster, stronger and more athletic. It was David versus Goliath.

"Our guys competed hard," Cox said. "We were overmatched a bit, but didn't stop playing."

Baserunning was a key to DeSales' downfall. The Irish had one runner forced out at second on a pop fly that dropped in shallow right field in the second inning, another caught trying to steal second in the third, and a base occupant who was thrown out trying to go from first to third on Haen's single.

DeSales left eight runners on the basepaths.

"We had opportunities, but didn't play clean enough," Cox said. "Our baserunning hurt us bad."

The weekend's games were the last in DeSales uniforms for seniors Gregg, Mata, Lindgren and Kincaid Schmitz.

LaConner 5, DeSales 4

DeSales 000 022 0 - 4 7 3

LaConner 101 000 3 - 5 14 2

Hoeft, Lindgren (5) and Duehn. Wilbur and James.

HR - none.

Hits - DeSales: Haen 2, Duehn 2, Arellano, Gregg, Mata. LaConner: McCauley 4, McKnight 2, Howlett 2, Carr 2, James, Wilbur, Johnston, Hartley.

Seattle Lutheran 12, DeSales 7

Seattle Lutheran 100 072 2 - 12 16 2

DeSales 000 241 0 - 7 10 1

White, Webb (6) and Desmond. Mata, Lindgren (7) and Duehn.

HR - none.

Hits - Seattle Lutheran: Webb 3, Clements 3, Desmond 2, Besaw 2, Lisko 2, Savas, White, Schorn, Lovely. DeSales: Haen 3, Fazzari, Gregg, Hoeft, Caudill, Lindgren, Arellano, Mata.

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