Dominant Pitching Highlights Selah Vikings Sweep Over Ellensburg
The Selah vs. Ellensburg baseball series is regularly one of the most anticipated in the entire central Washington region.
This is largely because whenever these two teams face off, nearly everything is on the line.
Their annual doubleheader has actually decided the CWAC crown each of the last four seasons.
This year's edition gave us the defending state champs Ellensburg Bulldogs going up against the undefeated Selah Vikings (7-0).
As hyped as this matchup was, the final result ended up being two lopsided scores, both in favor of Selah. They were victories of 11-2 and 6-0, respectively.
"Beating (Ellensburg) twice is huge for us because it gives us a tiebreaker over them," Selah head coach Mike Archer said. "We're both going to get better, and hopefully we'll get to see them again."
Top flight pitchers were featured by both teams to start the first game of this doubleheader.
Selah sent out senior Dylan Bishop. He was Selah’s opening day starter, and is slowly turning into ace type material.
Ellensburg threw out their best in Tyler Polacek, who has been shutdown in the CWAC over the past four years.
Despite having to face one of the top pitchers in the state, Selah came out swinging with a lot of purpose.
A two out double by Selah shortstop Carter Young would score Dylan Bishop from second base. Selah would finish the first inning with a 2-0 lead.
"We've faced Polacek every single year since freshman year, and I definitely think it gives us extra confidence," Young said.
Starting pitcher Dylan Bishop had his hands full going against a state a championship lineup that had WSU commit Jadon Bugni, Brady Helgeson, and Riley Seed.
Bishop performed marvelously, going a strong 5 ⅓ innings while giving up just one earned run.
“I tried to go after every hitter with a first pitch fastball,” Bishop said. “I then mixed in my curveball, and found myself getting ahead in the count.”
Once Polacek was pulled from the game after the fourth inning, the Vikings really found their stride at the plate, scoring 8 runs in the final three innings.
The final run of the game was scored by Carter Young, who after lining the ball into the right-center field gap, was able to 'touch em all' for a rare inside the park homerun.
Both teams flexed their pitching depth by throwing out two more top starters in Selah's Payton Andreas and Ellensburg’s Brady Helgeson.
Andreas had been away from the team to start the season, so head coach Mike Archer wasn’t planning on working him too hard in his first start back.
The flame throwing southpaw was pitching so well however, that Archer made the call to let Andreas go as long as he could. He would finish throwing 6 innings of shutout baseball.
“Payton’s big thing this year is going to be consistency,” Archer said. “I thought he threw really well today, and we wanted to see what he could do with more pitches.”
For Ellensburg, Brady Helgeson was able to keep his team in the ball game. He left the game in the 5th inning, with his team down only 3-0.
A two RBI double by Payton Andreas would extend Selah’s lead to 5-0 later in the same inning.
It would be all Selah needed, as reliever Nick Garretson closed out the game for a 6-0 win.
Pending any major meltdowns the rest of the season, it looks very likely that Selah can run away with the CWAC Crown this season.
This doesn’t mean that they are a shoe-in to win the CWAC District Title. Last year Ellensburg won the CWAC regular season title, but would end up losing the district championship to Selah.
It’s worth mentioning Ellensburg made an alarming seven errors defensively. Should these two teams face off again, there’s very little chance that happens again.
With Selah firmly in the driver’s seat in their conference, as well as the playoff picture, Mike Archer is very happy with how his team is performing.
“Our hitters are having a great approach at the plate,” Archer said. “We put the ball in play, we ran the bases well, and I thought we played really good defense."
Your next chance to catch the Selah Vikings will be next Tuesday, April 2nd, when they face the Quincy Jackrabbits at Carlon Park.
The Ellensburg Bulldogs will look to rebound strong when they face the Grandview Greyhounds next Tuesday, April 2nd, at Rotary Park.