La Center boys move onto state tournament while Prairie and Ridgefield’s campaigns come to a close


The La Center Wildcats secured the title of the 1A classification district four champions after going 3-0 in the district tournament that was held at Castle Rock High School from May 8 to May 13, while Prairie and Ridgefield saw their post season campaigns come to a close.

The Wildcats defeated Eatonville, 19-1, in only four innings of offense and five innings on defense on May 8. La Center tallied nine runs in the second inning and seven runs in the fourth.

During game two’s matchup between the Wildcats and Tenino on May 9, the Beavers were up by 4-1 after the first inning. La Center’s pitching and defense helped keep that score steady until a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth when the Wildcats took a 5-4 lead and held on for the win after seven innings. La Center had no errors in the game.

After a close victory over Tenino, the Wildcats punched their ticket to the state playoffs but still had a chance to go for their third straight district championship. La Center took a 1-0 lead and turned it into a 9-0 win during the district championship game over Montesano on May 13. Garrett Maunu threw a total of 71 pitches in the seven innings for the complete game shutout.

Ridgefield and Prairie experienced a different outcome as they went into districts as respective division champions. Ridgefield played its district tournament at their home field at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex, while Prairie played two games in Clark County and then traveled up north for two games in Auburn.

Game one of Ridgefield’s playoff campaign on May 9 was a late inning thriller. Freshman designated-hitter Landon DeBeaumont hit a single to center field that tied the game after two runs scored. Dillon Kirksey helped himself on the mound as he drove in the winning run right after the game was tied during the previous at-bat. Kirksey threw a complete game and the Spudders won 3-2 after their sixth inning comeback.

Game two for Ridgefield ended with a 9-0 loss to W.F. West of Chehalis on May 10, who would move on to be district champions.

Game three for Ridgefield was a win-or-go-home matchup against league rival Hudson’s Bay. The Eagles ended the Spudders’ hopes to go to the playoffs with an 11-4 victory on May 12. Ridgefield earned the 2A Greater St. Helens League title.

For the 3A Greater St. Helens League champion Prairie Falcons, their district tournament ended as well. Game one for the Falcons on May 9 saw Texas Tech commit Brady Trombello, and their ace all season, give up 11 hits, nine runs with eight earned, compared to only three strikeouts against Gig Harbor. The game one loss ended with a score of 12-4.

Game two for the Falcons against the Auburn Trojans on May 10 was a close one as Prairie held onto the lead after Auburn scored three runs in the top of the seventh, but Prairie held them off for a 5-3 victory in a win-or-go-home game.

Games three and four were played on Saturday, May 13 in Auburn. After pitching on Tuesday, Trombello was eligible to pitch on Saturday but did not take the mound in either of the two games as Prairie only needed to win one of the two to punch their ticket to the state playoffs. Instead, Prairie lost game one to League rival, Kelso, by a score of 7-1 after the Hilanders scored five runs in the fifth inning.

Game four turned into a win-or-go-home matchup against Auburn Riverside. Prairie ended up throwing five different pitchers in the 8-6 loss on May 13. Auburn Riverside took a 6-3 lead after four innings, and facing elimination, the Falcons fought back to tie the game 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh, but gave up two runs in the eighth inning.