Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877


By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

1B baseball state quarterfinals next next: Colton comeback just shy


May 16, 2019

Jackson Meyer

Colton junior Jackson Meyer settles at second after a two-run double in the sixth inning.

They met for the state 1B championship last year, Almira/Coulee/Hartline winning it 8-4. A year later, last Saturday in Colbert, it was Colton-A/C/H again, the same two pitchers, for a game to decide seedings for the state quarterfinals.

On May 11, in the late afternoon sun, Almira/ Coulee/Hartline pitcher Dalton Kentner took the mound to open against Colton's top three in the lineup, its three fifth-year starters.

One, two, three, they went down to strikeouts, no contact with the ball.

Parker Druffel came out next in his catcher's gear and Reece Chadwick took the pitcher's mound. Luke Vining went to his position at shortstop.

Druffel shook the hand of the home plate umpire and A/C/H came up to bat.

Kentner, a senior, got on base but no score at the end of one.

In the Colton dugout, coach Pat Doumit sprayed on sunscreen.

The Wildcats' Kian Anderson went up to bat, K.

Jackson Meyer, K.

The Colton bats could have been wooden or metal, they had not yet made a sound.

Then, Jon Bean, metal, double!

Chris Wolf stepped in the batter's box, K.

A/C/H up again and Brayton Schafer beat a throw to first base from Colton third baseman Wolf, still no score in the game.

Colton up: Kelton Devlin, K, Trent Druffel, K, Parker Druffel – battling, he fouled three pitches off. He watched the last one and took first on a walk.

Vining followed with a ground ball hit to first.

At the next Warriors' at-bat, Hayden Loomis hit a bunt with a man on, Chadwick overthrew to first and A/C/H scored. Loomis stood at third, 1-0.

Then Kentner came up; bam, the ball high and deep to centerfield, over the fence for a home run.

"Ding ding season has opened," said an A/C/H player as Kentner rounded the bases, then slapped hands on his way to the Warriors' dugout.

Mac Isaak, an A/C/H senior infielder, followed with a base hit, then freshman Cooper Correia hit a ball between Wolf at third and Vining at shortstop.

Doumit walked out of the dugout for a meeting on the mound, Colton down 3-0.

Next, Warriors' freshman Reece Isaak hit a bouncer to Vining who threw it home, dust, tag, safe, 4-0 A/C/H.

In the fourth inning, Chadwick went out to bat, K. Then Anderson got a base hit off an error by the A/C/H third baseman.

Jackson Meyer up to bat. He called time after the second strike. Then came the third, K.

Bean followed with a blip ball overthrown to first and Anderson scored.

Then Chris Wolf, K.

In the fifth inning, Colton down 4-1 and Trent Druffel went up, K, then Parker Druffel, K.

A/C/H followed with a base hit from junior Brayton Schafer, again between the third baseman and shortstop.

Isaak then walked before the Warriors' senior Gage Burchill hit deep to centerfield, scoring two runs, but not the last one, because the runner stepped over the plate.

Colton's dugout reacted. Druffel tagged him after the fact and instead of 6-1 A/C/H it was 5-1 at the end of the fifth.

Opening the sixth, long shadows on the grass and Tom Petty on the loudspeakers for the changeover, Vining started something: on base on a mishandled dribbler. Chadwick followed with a deep shot to center, the ball bouncing over the fence for a double.

Anderson went up next, a passed ball and Vining bolted for home from third, a face-first slide for Colton's second run.

Anderson walked, Chadwick stood at third. Jackson Meyer came up, hit a double and it was suddenly 5-4.

Bean, a junior, hit a shot over the leftfielder, it was a 5-5 tie game.

Wolf bunted, Bean advanced and Colton had the lead run on third.

Devlin came up and hit a short grounder to the shortstop. Coach Doumit sent Bean for home.

The A/C/H shortstop scooped the ball as Bean sprinted down the third baseline for the lead.

The throw, Bean slid and the umpire stared for the call: out.

Colton's Trent Druffel, a sophomore, came up to bat next, K.

A/C/H made it back to their dugout.

"Let's go," said a player for the suddenly lowercase A/C/H. "Make up for this."

In the seventh, Vining fielded two balls for two close throw-outs to first, two outs.

Kentner stepped in the batter's box.

Chadwick threw a pitch. Kentner hit a third ground ball to Vining, it bounced up and over his glove, through to the outfield grass for a double.

Then another Almira/Coulee/Hartline senior, Mac Isaak, hit a floater fly-ball over Vining and short of Devlin running in from left. Kentner scored and the Warriors had the lead back, 6-5.

Into the seventh, A/C/H junior Chase Gerard took the mound to relieve Kentner, the Colton dugout in shadow.

Parker Druffel led it off, K.

Vining followed, he hit a bouncer to the shortstop, safe at first.

Chadwick came up next, K.

Then Anderson, K.

A/C/H won it, 6-5. Kentner finished the game with 15 strikeouts.

"He's very good," Doumit said. "As good as anyone we've seen. He's an emotional guy but he's not obnoxious about how emotional he is."

Before facing Colton, Kentner had allowed just six runs all season.

Parker Druffel, Chadwick and Vining have all started for Colton since they were eighth-graders.


The state 1B baseball quarterfinals and semis will be Saturday in Chehalis and Walla Walla.

Teams remaining are Quilcene, Colton, Odessa, Naselle, Evergreen Lutheran, Almira/Coulee/Hartline, Pomeroy and Sunnyside Christian.

Colton (15-7) will meet Quilcene at 10 a.m. May 18 at W.F. West High School in Chehalis.

"Guys are playing really good baseball now," Doumit said of his team.

Colton baseball

Colton players congratulate Almira/Coulee/Hartline after a 6-5 loss at Colbert, after Colton trailed 5-1 in the sixth inning.

Also at Chehalis, Odessa plays Naselle. The other two games of the quarterfinals will be held at Walla Walla High School; Evergreen Lutheran plays A/C/H and Pomeroy plays Sunnyside Christian.

Quarterfinal winners at both locations advance to play the semifinals later in the day.

The state championship game is Saturday, May 25.

Garfield/Palouse eliminated by Cusick

On May 7, Garfield/Palouse met Cusick in a district playoff game, losing 3-0 to end their season.

Gar/Pal was the no. 3 seed from the Southeast 1B league while Cusick was the no. 4 from the Northeast 1B.

Gar/Pal trailed 1-0 in the sixth as they struggled at the plate, with two hits on the day, from Riley Pederson and L.J. Perringer.

The Vikings finished the year with a 6-8 record.

Luke ViningJackson MeyerColton baseball


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