Bellevue wins dramatic NWAACC baseball tournament.
The Bellevue Bulldogs won the fourth state baseball championship in school history and their second in three years with a win over Columbia Basin last Sunday.
Bellevue, despite finishing the season with the fourth best record in the league at 29-20, was the number one seed in the NWAACC tournament, thanks to their performance at the North Region tourney the week before, where they crushed the opposition in three games.
In the final game of the season for the state NWAACC champs, the Bulldogs got on the board early when tournament most valuable player Ian Parmley scored on a sacrifice fly by Lucas Shaw in the first inning. That run was all the team would need, as Kyle Long shut down the opposition with a fantastic three hit shutout. However, Bellevue was able to add some insurance runs both in the fifth in the eighth inning, and in doing so took pressure off of the starting pitching. Hunter Beaty had a sacrifice fly in the fifth, as did Michael Robinson in the eighth, to put Bellevue up by three going into the ninth.
Offense wasn’t an issue for the Bulldogs in Sunday’s first game against the Columbia Basin team, as everyone in the starting lineup got a hit in the game. The biggest hits were the two home runs by Shaw, the second coming in the eighth inning to tie up the game. The winning runs came in the ninth inning when Cody Edwards got a hit to center, scoring Parmley and Ryan Shelton. Kirk Wetmore made absolutely sure that Bellevue would have a chance to come back by throwing three scoreless innings of relief to get the win and the save. Winning that game forced the teams to play each other again in the double elimination tournament.
The championship was the College’s second under head coach Mark Yoshino, who has been a major part of the team’s success in the last few years.
“He’s really hands on.” said pitcher Ronny Johnson. “He just helps us individually. He wants to win”.
Getting to the last day of the tournament was a challenge for the team after losing to Columbia Basin earlier in the tournament.
After the loss, the Bulldogs were only a single loss away from being eliminated, with three games to go. On top of that, they would have to win twice against the “After we lost, [we] just [kept] coming back, not panicking” Johnson said. “Just having [Yoshino and assistant coach Scott Fairbanks] saying how other teams had done it before, the good and the bad, you know”
After the final win, the league released a list of the players who had been named to the NWAACC all-tournament team. Bellevue participants included Coach Yoshino, Shaw and Beaty in the infield, Brodie McCormick behind the plate, and Long and Wetmore on the mound.