KENNEWICK -- No one would ever characterize Oz Bartleson as "light-hitting."
A two-year starter for the Southridge baseball team, the senior center fielder packs a .383 batting average and drove in 20 runs during the regular season with 13 extra-base hits.
Until Tuesday, though, none of those left the yard.
Bartleson smacked back-to-back shots over the right-field fence -- the second a three-run blast in the sixth inning that got the Suns back to even -- and Matt Mendenhall singled in the winning run with two out in the seventh to lead Southridge to a 7-6 win over the visiting Kamiakin Braves in a CBBN/GSL 3A sub-regional semifinal.
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"I honesty don't try to hit home runs, just hits," said Bartleson, who accounted for four of his team's six runs hitting in the No. 7 hole. "Sometimes they fly out."
And because they do, the Suns (19-2) will play in the sub-regional championship against Hanford (13-11) at 3 p.m. Saturday at Southridge.
The Falcons eliminated Kennewick 7-3 in a loser-out game in Spokane and then hammered the Greater Spokane League top seed, University, 20-5.
Both Southridge and Hanford already have berths into the regional round of state. Kamiakin (19-5) and University (18-5) will play for the third berth in a loser-out game at noon Saturday, also at Southridge.
The Braves were in full command with a 5-2 lead after five innings, with Andrew Castillo and Blake Raekes hitting two-run triples in the fourth and fifth innings.
And Kamiakin starter Bryce Drury was in full command against the most dangerous lineup in the league.
"He had a senior day on the mound," Kamiakin coach Ryan Carter said. "He was not feeling so well before the game. But once he got into it, he stayed in the moment. He competed and gave us a chance."
Drury gave up just four hits through five innings, the last of those Bartleson's solo shot in the fourth that just curved inside the foul pole.
He walked the leadoff hitter to start the sixth, then struck out Southridge's Nos. 4 and 5 hitters. Bryce Jackson singled up the middle after falling behind 0-2 to extend the inning, and Bartleson yanked the first pitch he saw over the right-field fence.
"I felt it today," Bartleson said. "I wanted to get my at-bat. I knew there was something there for me."
Meanwhile, Ty Jackson (7-0) had settled down on the mound after relieving his brother Bryce in the fifth and getting tagged for two runs. He set down the final six batters he faced to get the victory.
The winning run started with Mike McAdie's second single of the game, a one-out poke to center. He moved up to second on AJ Henderson's grounder up the first-base line, and then Mendenhall looped an 0-1 pitch into left field that gave Kamiakin's Castillo no chance to nail McAdie at the plate.
"That's why you play seven," said relieved Southridge coach Tim Sanders, who praised Bartleson (first home run), Mendenhall (walk in the sixth) and Bryce Jackson for reaching base after falling behind 0-2 in the count.
"Those were three huge at-bats," he said.
Earlier, the Braves eliminated Mount Spokane 3-2. Garrett Anderson settled in after giving up two runs and three hits, including a triple, in the first inning.
He worked his way around seven hits and a walk by striking out 14 over six innings, including three straight after the Mount Spokane had runners on first and third with no outs in the sixth.
Kamiakin 000 320 0 -- 5 9 1
Southridge 010 103 1 -- 6 8 0
Two out when winning run scored
Bryce Drury, Jesse Houser (6) and Joey Flores; Bryce Jackson, Ty Jackson (5) and Dallas Jones. Highlights--AJ Griffiths (K) 2x3, 2B, R, SAC; Blake Raekes (K) 3B, 2 RBI, SAC; Houser (K) 2x3, R; Andrew Castillo (K) 3B, 2 RBI, SAC; Mike McAdie (S) 2x4, R; Matt Mendenhall (S) 2x3, RBI, R, BB; Oz Bartleson (S) 2x3, 2 HR, 4 RBI; Brock Marston (S) 2B.
Mount Spokane 200 000 0 -- 2 7 1
Kamiakin 030 000 x -- 3 4 0
Kelly Fitzpatrick and Seth Heckel; Garrett Anderson, Houser (7) and Flores. Highlights--Preston Van Doren (MS) 3B; Alexander Allard (MS) 2x3, 2B; Drew Oord (K) 2B; Justin Berneski (K) 2x3, 2B, RBI.
Hanford earns state berth
The Falcons picked a good time to put it all together.
Led by the pitching of Dan Scheibe and the hitting of Blake Eastman, the Falcons wrapped up their fourth consecutive state berth in Spokane.
Hanford eliminated Kennewick 7-3 and then hammered host University High 20-5.
"We were the underdogs, but we've playing decent ball all year in a very tough league," Hanford coach Tom DeWitz said. "All the pieces fit today. Our pitching was awesome, our defense was awesome, we had 36 hits -- so we were swinging."
Scheibe threw a complete game to knock off Kennewick, scattering three runs on nine hits. He also went 4-for-4 with a double and four runs scored at the plate while helping eliminate the Lions.
In the nightcap, Eastman was 4-for-4, hitting for the cycle, scoring four runs and driving in six as the Falcons banged out 21 hits in the rout.
Hanford 023 010 1 -- 7 16 0
Kennewick 100 101 0 -- 3 9 0
Dan Scheibe and Synoground. Westermeyer, Frankie Murillo (4), Stetson Plew (6) and Wilz. Highlights--Hanford: Finn McMichael 4-5, 2B, 2RBI; Ryan Neal 2-3; Jake Browne 2-4, 2R; Austin Steele 2-2; Dan Scheibe 4-4, 2B, 4R; Kennewick: Darby 2-2; Drew Loftus 2-3, 2B.
Hanford 202 442 6 -- 20 21 0
University 011 102 0 -- 5 10 2
Paulin Serkowski, Corey Fennel (6) and Synoground. McGlocklin and Powell. Highlights--McMichael 2-5, 2R; Ryan Neal 3-6, 2B, 4R; A.J. Hoskins 3-4, 4R, 3RBIs; Blake Eastman 4-4, hit for the cycle, 4R, 6RBIs; Chris Synoground 2-5, 2B; Jake Browne 2-3.
Walla Walla clinches state berth
SPOKANE -- The Walla Walla Blue Devils began the day facing possible elimination from postseason play.
They ended it with an assured trip to state -- their third in program history and first since 1990 -- after blanking two Greater Spokane League teams in a CBBN/GSL 4A sub-regional in Spokane.
"Two shutouts and three home runs against Ferris, it's a great day for the Blue Devils," Wa-Hi coach Keith Gradwohl said.
Gonzaga Prep 000 000 0 -- 0 2 1
Walla Walla 010 111 x -- 4 7 1
Justin Bratner and Zach Bonneau; Jake Campeau and Conner Holbrook. Highlights--Campeau (WW) 12K-1BB-7IP; Kevin Toon (WW) 2x2, HR, 2B; Brett Christina (WW) 2x2.
Walla Walla 720 300 0 -- 12 16 1
Ferris 000 000 0 -- 0 5 1
Matt Watson, Drew Christina (7) and Holbrook; Spencer Ansett, Michael Renner (3), Tim Yoshihara (4) and Ryan Krustangel. Highlights--Moe Handcox (WW) 4x4, HR; Jake Jimenez (WW) 3x5; Watson (WW) 3-run HR; Campeau (WW) HR; Michael Pontarolo (WW) 3x5; Holbrook (WW) 2x4, 3-run HR, 2B, 4 RBIs.