Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Vikings baseball starts off at 3-0


April 11, 2019

Back for 2019, amidst snow-outs followed by rainouts, of eight games on its original schedule, the Garfield/Palouse baseball team has gotten in a doubleheader against Touchet and a game against St. John/Endicott/LaCrosse at LaCrosse.

They are 3-for-8 in games played.

Last week, their revised schedule put them at Pomeroy Thursday followed by a home doubleheader against Colton Saturday. Both dates were canceled.

“We had the field just about ready, then the rains came,” said second-year coach Mike Jones.

Vikings athletic director Scott Thompson went back to the phones.

The current schedule shows a game set for this Friday, April 12, against Pomeroy, likely an away game because of better field conditions farther south.

The Vikings practices have been more consistent, with the team set up in the auxiliary gym in Palouse, supplied with nets and a portable pitcher’s mound. They did go to the WSU intramural field twice to practice.

The April 6 doubleheader against Colton has been scheduled for a later date.


“Just later,” said Jones, for what he knows at this point.

For the games the team has played, they are 3-0, back from an 8-8 season last year in which Gar/Pal took third in the Southeast 1B league and lost in the first round of the district (crossover) playoffs.

The Vikings have nine returning players this year, including two four-year players, seniors Riley Pedersen at first base/pitcher/catcher and Clayton Clarkson, first base and outfield.

Juniors Blake Jones (pitcher/third base/shortstop) and Ethan Hawkins (right field/left field) are back, along with sophomores Austin Jones (shortstop/pitcher), Kyle Bankus (second base/third base) and Ethan Montgomery (second base/outfield).

Tyson White returns as a senior outfielder. Also for seniors on the team are Ely Hawkins (pitcher, centerfield, catcher), who did not play last year, L.J. Perringer, an outfielder who has not played since junior high and Caden Sanderson, a centerfielder who has not played any high school baseball.

“Their last year, they wanted to get outside and enjoy themselves,” said Coach Jones. “At least they’re enjoying themselves.”

The Vikings graduated two players off of the 2018 team, Evan Weaggraff and Seth Thompson.

Additional returners from last year include freshmen Jaxson Orr (outfield) and Kane Weiker (third base, outfield), who played as eighth-graders.

“Our pitching is a little bit stronger than before, we’re a little deeper on the mound this year,” Jones said.

When it will be seen next is unknown.

“It’s kind of by the hour, right now, we’re just watching the radar, on the phones,” said Jones. “But Colton, Pomeroy, everyone’s in the same boat. No pun intended.”

Games in

Playing at LaCrosse March 26, Garfield/Palouse led 9-0 in the fourth inning before scoring 12 runs to finish the game, 21-0.

Blake Jones opened on the mound, throwing two innings for six strikeouts followed by Ely Hawkins, who allowed no hits in one inning. Pedersen concluded the game, allowing one hit in one inning.

At bat, Blake Jones went 3-for-4 with a home run while Pedersen went 2-for-3 with a triple and Kyle Bankus was 2-for-3 with a single and double.

At Touchet March 28, the Vikings won 15-2 and 11-4.

Blake Jones pitched six innings to allow two runs with 12 strikeouts. At bat, Pedersen went 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs while Jones went 2-for-5 with two RBIs. In the second game, Pedersen pitched three innings, giving up three unearned runs before Austin Jones pitched four innings to allow one unearned run with 10 strikeouts. It added up to a combined no-hitter. The Vikings committed four errors in the game.

At the plate, Pedersen and Sanderson went 2-for-4 while Blake Jones was 2-for-5 with four RBIs.


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