Baumgarts power Irish golf teams to victories

Ryan and Emily Baumgart lead the DeSales boys and girls teams to wins at the three-way match.

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WALLA WALLA - The DeSales golf team, behind medal performances from brother and sister Ryan and Emily Baumgart, came out on top of a three-way match between Southeast 2B Conference foes at the Veterans Memorial Golf Course Tuesday.

Powered by Ryan Baumgart's 3-over-par 39, and 40 shots each from Jerod Konen and Bryce Scott, the Irish boys cruised to a 214 team score through nine holes.

Waitsburg-Prescott's Dakota Baker shot a 44 as he competed individually.

Liberty Christian finished second with a 246, led by Jared Hoey's 45, and Tri-Cities Prep came in last with a 264, led by Cole Scott's 42 strokes.

DeSales was the only team to field enough golfers for a second boys team at the match. That team would have also shot 264 had those scores counted.

On the girls side, Emily Baumgart, an eighth-grader, carded a 42 to lead DeSales. Due to heavy rain, the final groups of girls only managed seven holes of golf before being called into the clubhouse. Thus, only the top-three scores were tabulated for the girls team scores.

Ashton Montgomery carded a 53 and Alyssa Lyons shot a 69 to tally the Irish's first-place 164.

Tri-Cities Prep finished just one stroke shy of tying the DeSales girls with a 165. Liberty Christian carded 184.

Scott Kimball carded 47 and Lucas Lyons 48 to round out the DeSales boys counters.

Despite early-spring weather that saw bouts of rain and wind, Ryan Baumgart, the reigning Washington state 1B/2B champion, wasn't satisfied with his 3-over-par performance.

"It was OK," Baumgart said. "I got off to kind of a bad start, and I didn't ever really get it going. I didn't do too bad with the weather."

"He'll never be happy," DeSales coach Lon Olson said of the 17-year-old junior. "Ryan is his own toughest critic, he's hard on himself. He set a pretty high standard - winning state last year - so he wants to shoot par golf, which he's capable of."

But Baumgart, who tied with Konen for another medal in the DeSales' March 15 opener in Pasco, said he wasn't too concerned with picking up wins.

"I think I can (repeat), but I try to not worry too much about winning," he said. "I just try to improve and get better. The winning will come with it."

Baumgart was more excited, however, about the Irish's prospects for taking a team state championship this season.

"It's really nice to have a group of strong players (Konen, Scott, Baumgart and Kimball)." Baumgart said. "It's weird for all four of us to be here at the same time, so it's kind of exciting."

The Irish placed second at state last season as a team. Despite rolling an ankle the night before, Konen tied for 17th at state, and teammate Scott tied for 31st.

Olson didn't want to set his sights on state just yet, but said a title was definitely on his team's radar.

"Absolutely, it's a goal," Olson said of state. "I'm very optimistic that we will do well up to state, and hopefully we will put it together at state too."

Konen was in position to tie Baumgartner for another medal entering hole nine Tuesday.

The sophomore had a birdy chip-in on hole four and entered the ninth hole tied with Baumgart at 34.

Baumgart's drive got caught in the wind and fell short of the final green, a shot he normally makes, he said. He overshot the green on the following chip shot, then missed a putt to end with a bogey, opening the door for Konen to take the win.

But Konen couldn't capitalize, and a double bogey later, ended tied with Scott for second.

"That's a good match up, those two guys (Konen and Baumgart)," Olson said. "I'd like to think Jerod will be pushing Ryan this year, and I think he will."

And what did the elder Baumgart think about his sister Emily being on the same team?

"It's weird to see her out there playing with the high schoolers," Ryan said of his younger sister, who started golfing competitively when she was 11. "It was weird to see her out there playing with the high schoolers and playing with her, because I've never been on the same team with her."

The Irish take to the greens again April 2 at the Wildhorse Golf Course in Pendleton.

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