ELLENSBURG — Defending champion DeSales completed an extraordinary run through the postseason with a 5-0 victory over Adna in the championship game of the Class 2B state baseball tournament that wrapped up here Saturday afternoon at Rotary Field.
Earlier on Saturday the Irish, who ended the season by capturing the program’s 18th state title and with a 23-2 overall record, blanked Liberty Bell, 13-0, in a semifinal contest that was scheduled for Friday, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Cam Richman threw a complete-game two-hitter against Adna, and combined with Connor Richard on a one-hit shutout in the win over Liberty Bell — a game that was halted after four-and-a-half innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“There are no words to explain it,” Richman said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a great feeling. This is one of the closest teams I’ve ever been on. I love every guy on this team.”
In its five playoff victories, DeSales pitchers threw 31 innings of shutout baseball while the offense tallied 39 runs.
“It might get old for some, but for these kids, it’s not old to them,” DeSales coach Kim Cox said of his program’s championship success. “Our pitching has been our strength all year. We shattered team records for defense. Our guys enjoy each other and that makes it great. When you go to work with people you love, it makes a big difference.”
Center fielder Reilly Roach added, “Our guys were just stellar on the mound.”
Adna reached Saturday’s championship game with an 8-7, eight-inning victory over Mossrock on Friday.
Mossyrock bounced back on Saturday and claimed third place with a 5-1 triumph over Liberty Bell.
The Irish scored a run in each of the first three innings of the championship game. Tim Caudill drove in the first run with a single to left field, Darryl Galloway led off the second inning with a triple to center and scored on a wild pitch, and the third run crossed the plate on a Pirate error.
DeSales added insurance in the seventh on a Joe Duehn sacrifice fly to right, and an RBI double to right-center by Caudill.
Richman struck out seven, walked two, and retired the last 10 batter he faced in the 1-hour, 25-minute game.
Logan Hoeft broke a scoreless tie in the second inning of the Liberty Bell tussle with a two-RBI triple to center. Roach brought Hoeft home with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Irish added five runs in both the third and fourth innings.
Caudill delivered the first run of inning three with a single to center, Galloway smashed a two-run double to right, Roach singled to left to make it 7-0 and Ky Pommerening capped the frame with a run-scoring fielder’s choice.
In the fourth, Richard drilled a two-run double to center, Roach contributed a run-producing single to left, Paul Elmenhurst collected an RBI with a fielder’s choice, and Cody Josifek singled to left to conclude the DeSales scoring.
“Our whole philosophy was to keep it going and win every inning (of both games),” Richman said.
“We played great defense and Cam (threw) really well,” Hoeft said. “Once we got the bats going, we did great.”
Caudill and Galloway had two hits apiece in each game and Roach added three hits on the day for the Irish. Adam Eskil registered two hits against Adna.
Saturday’s title game was the last for DeSales seniors Duehn, Hoeft, Caudill, Pommerening, Roach, Elmenhurst, Josifek, and Travis Haen.
“It’s a good feeling,” Duehn said. “Cam and I have always been good friends. It’s good to go out with a bang.”
“We’ve always been there for each other, appreciate each other’s work, and enjoy each other,” Hoeft said.
“Last year, nobody expected us (to win the title),” Caudill said. “This year, with the expectations higher, we knew we had to practice as hard as we could to get back (to the championship game).”
“It’s a unique class that loves each other,” Roach said. “It’s been such a fun ride with a great group of guys.”
“It was special being with all the guys and sharing this opportunity with them,” Haen said. “We were all focused and ready to play. The scoreboard obviously showed that.”
DeSales 5, Adna 0
DeSales 111 000 2 — 5 8 0
Adna 000 000 0 — 0 2 0
Richman and Duehn; Wasson, Webster (6) and Herring.
HR — none.
Hits — DeSales: Caudill 2, Galloway 2, Eskil 2, Duehn, Roach; Adna: Hampton, Smith.
DeSales 13, Liberty Bell 0
Liberty Bell 000 00 — 0 1 3
DeSales 035 5X — 13 12 0
Ryan, Alumbaugh (3) and Holston; Richman, Richard (4) and Duehn.
HR — none.
Hits — Liberty Bell: Ryan; DeSales: Caudill 2, Galloway 2, Roach 2, Duehn, Hoeft, Haen, Eskil, Richard, Josifek.