WIAA 3A State Baseball Tournament Bellevue Regional Preview

3A State Regional: Bellevue Region

This region features two of the top ten teams in the state of Washington. I consider this bracket a tough one. In order to advance to the state finals, teams must win two games on Saturday; their first round game and defeat the winner of the other game played in this region. See our breakdown and predictions of this region after the jump!!

Game 1: West Seattle vs. Timberline, Bannerwood Park (Bellevue, WA), 10:00 a.m.

West Seattle (11-10): The Wildcats had a rocky regular season but have had great success so far this postseason. They upset No. 1 ranked Seattle Prep and defeated Liberty for a spot in this region. With the amount of days off West Seattle has, they’ll be able to use their best pitcher Sam Hellinger who automatically gives the Wildcats a chance in this one. A key player to watch on offense for West Seattle will be Jeff Freeman who has the power to drive the ball out of the park. I would say West Seattle’s biggest strength would be their hitting. Besides having Hellinger for pitching, West Seattle has nobody after him. Notable wins: Bishop Blanchet, Liberty, Seattle Prep. Tournament history: 11 regional appearances never have made it to the state final. Lost to Shorewood in last year’s regional.

Timberline (14-6): Timberline is unranked this year, but they still have a solid squad. They were able to have success in their conference and are looking to return to the state final since 2009. Timberline’s biggest strength is their hitting, they are a solid hitting team that could give Hellinger problems today. Notable wins: Enumclaw, Columbia River. Tournament history: 5 Regional appearances. 4th in State in 2009.

Prediction: Timberline 5-0 

Game 2: Mount Vernon vs. Eastside Catholic, Bannerwood Park (Bellevue, WA) 1:00 p.m. UPSET ALERT

Mount Vernon (15-1): Mount Vernon is considered by some people a better team than Mount Si. They are ranked No. 2 in the state and could easily be ranked No. 1 with the success they have had this year. Their pitching is their strong point and is one of the main reasons why they have all this success. Notable wins: Glacier Peak, Ferndale, Shorewood. Tournament history: 15 regional appearances, and 2 State Titles (1990, 1992). Could this be the year Mt. Vernon takes home their third state championship? They have to first focus on beating a tough Eastside Catholic team today.

Eastside Catholic (16-6): The Crusaders are one of the hottest teams in the state. They just came off an exciting tournament where they won the Metro Title off of a walk-off homerun of Jeff Bohling. This Crusaders team could pull off the upset tomorrow. Especially if their best pitcher, Alex Foley starts tomorrow. Foley one of the best pitchers in the state with his speed and off-speed pitches he throws. Eastside also has tough lineup lead by Jeff Bohling (.343, 24 hits, 18 RBI’s, 2 home runs), Braden Wolgamott (.365, 23 hits, 18 RBI’s, 3 Home runs), and Jeff Kepple (.365, 23 hits, 20 RBI’s) Due to the streak the Crusaders are on I put Mount Vernon on upset alert. However Mount Vernon has too good of pitching staff that will give Eastside Catholic hitters problems. This will be a fun one to watch and a close game.

Prediction: Mount Vernon 2-1

Who’s going to Pasco?

With the teams I have chosen to win in the first round, they’ll meet in the region finals. Mount Vernon vs. Timberline would or will be a classic; a great pitching staff (Mount Vernon) vs. a solid offense (Timberline). I give the edge to Mount Vernon due to how successful their pitching is. Prediction: Mount Vernon 4-2

–Evan Baron (BaselineBaron09)