Jackson Van De Brake’s Game-Winning Hit Sends West Valley to District Semi-Finals
Like it had been all week, it was a win or go home for West Valley and Eastmont.
In this Big Nine quarterfinals match up, West Valley was able to pick up a clutch 4-3 win. Ending Eastmont's season, while sending themselves to the semi-finals.
With the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the bases loaded with two outs, West Valley sophomore shortstop Jackson Van De Brake stepped up to the plate.
On the very first pitch, Van De Brake turned on an inside curveball, driving a hard grounder between the shortstop and the diving glove of the third baseman.
Spencer Bailey scrambled in from third base for the game-winning run.
"I had been up four times previously, and I got four first pitch curveballs," Van De Brake said. "So I was guessing curveball, and I got one."
West Valley starting pitcher Spencer Bailey faced trouble early, allowing an RBI double in the first inning, but was able to quickly settle down.
He finished with a solid stat line of 5 1/3 innings pitched, and two earned runs allowed.
"My fastball was working pretty well, but all my off-speed pitches just weren't there," Bailey said. "My coach came to talk to me about my front shoulder flying open. They were ringing me back in before I got off the rails."
A notable performance for West Valley at the plate was DH Riley Lublin. He got on base all four at-bats, and knocked in West Valley's first run with a towering home run to left-center field.
With this huge win, West Valley will advance to play #2 seed Wenatchee in the district semi-finals.
That game will take place Saturday (May 12th) at Moses Lake High School with first pitch at 1 p.m.
Should West Valley pick up the win over Wenatchee, they will immediately play #1 Moses Lake at 3 p.m. in the Big Nine Championship.
Regardless of whether or not they beat Moses Lake, they will still advance to the 4A State Tournament.
Despite the potential of playing a brutal three games in 24 hours, West Valley coach Ryan Froula did not believe that fatique was going to play a factor.
"I actually think it's a bonus for this particular group to have played this week," said coach Froula. "As opposed to last year, where we sat all the way to the district championship."