WIAA 3A State Baseball Tournament Mt. Vernon Regional Preview

3A State Baseball Regional: Mt. Vernon Region

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. I would consider this region as the least toughest. It does feature two of the top ten teams in the state, but rank No. 7 and No. 6. The two other teams in this region are unranked. Any team I believe can win the Mt. Vernon Region.  See who we picked after the jump!

All games are played on Saturday May 19, 2012

Game 1: Bishop Blanchet vs. Mountain View, Dream Field (Mt. Vernon) 10:00 a.m. UPSET ALERT

Bishop Blanchet (14-9): The Braves come into this region as one of two unranked teams. They were so close to capturing the Metro Title that they’ll be looking for to take their anger out today on Mountain View. Key players to watch on Blanchet are the powerful trio of hitters; Nate Backes, Eric Kimpton and Peter Johnson. Blanchet’s biggest strength is their hitting. Pitching will be a question mark today. Who do you start? I imagine the Braves will start their best pitcher Max Schwabe, who pitched a complete game against Seattle Prep. If Schwabe has another dominating performance and the Braves’ bats come alive, they could pull off the upset of the tournament. Look what they did to former No.1 ranked Seattle Prep (won 9-2). Notable wins: O’Dea, Seattle Prep, Eastside Catholic. Tournament history: 10 regional appearances, 1 state title (1996). Most recent appearance in regionals was in 2010.

Mountain View (19-4): Mountain View is ranked as the No. 6 team in the state. They also play in the 3A Greater St. Helens League which in my mind is one of the toughest leagues in the state. This team’s strength is their hitting and they should have the advantage over Blanchet due to lack of pitching the Braves posses. I still put Mountain View on upset alert due to postseason success Blanchet has had this year. Notable wins: Columbia River. Tournament history: 1 Regional appearance in 2011.

Prediction: Mountain View 5-4

Game 2: Columbia River vs. Mountlake Terrace, Dream Field (Mt. Vernon) 1:00 p.m.

Columbia River (Unknown): Columbia River also plays in the 3A Greater St. Helens League which I have already said is a tough league. This team has had its experiences going up against real competition each week. Columbia River’s strength is their hitting. They are unranked and are the second team unranked in this region. Notable Wins: Hazen. Tournament history: 5 Regional appearances. Last appearance in the tournament was in 2010 where they placed 4th in state. 2005 lost to O’Dea in the state championship.

Mountlake Terrace (14-8): Terrace comes into this tournament ranked No. 7. Key players on this team are Quintin Barnard (.357 20 hits, 17 RBI’s), Henry Haveman (.373, 25 hits, 24 RBI’s), Alex Hatch (.407, 24 hits, 16 RBI’s) and Austin Johnson (.371 26 hits, 18 RBI’s and 3 home runs). This shows the depth and strong offense Mountlake Terrace possess. They also have a strong pitching staff that is pretty deep too. With more pitchers on the team, allows for longer rest. I like Mountlake Terrace in this game due to their strength at hitting. Notable wins: Glacier Peak, Ferndale and Mount Vernon. Tournament history: 1986 and 1988 were the only times this program made it to regionals. They have never been to the state final.

Prediction: Mountlake Terrace 7-6

Who’s going to Pasco?

With the two teams that I predicted to win, the championship game in the Mt. Vernon region will be between Mountlake Terrace and Mountain View. In this game I like Terrace due to the depth of pitching they have and an explosive offense. Congrats Hawks fans, you’re going to Pasco for the state final for the first time in your school’s history.

Prediction: Mountlake Terrace 5-4

–Evan Baron (BaselineBaron09)