When they needed it, they got it.
That is just the way it seems to go for the Richland Bombers baseball team.
It certainly went that way Saturday afternoon at Avista Stadium in Spokane, where the Bombers handed a pair of local teams a lesson in what it takes to win the regional round of state.
Richland topped Mead 11-0 in the Bombers’ first game of the day, then held off Gonzaga Prep in the quarterfinals, 6-5, to qualify for the semifinals — the state’s final four — for the sixth consecutive year.
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“Unless you are on one of the teams, you don’t realize how tough it is to make it through regionals,” said Richland coach Ben Jacobs, who now has guided the Bombers to 10 Final Fours, matching legendary Newport coach Bob Albo. “It is a big deal, and nothing is guaranteed. We faced two great pitchers today.”
And yet still found a way to win — getting what they needed.
Richland, which has ended the year at Safeco Field and Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium the last five years, will take a crack at a fifth state title starting Friday at Gesa Stadium in Pasco.
The Bombers (21-5) will take on Puyallup (21-5) at 4 p.m.
In the clincher against G-Prep, what the Bombers needed included a big six-run second inning as Hunter Chambers and Corey Morris each hit two-run doubles.
It also included throwing a runner out at the plate to quash the Bullpups’ four-run sixth inning that pulled them within a run.
And then reliever Nate Ruane, with the bases loaded in the seventh, picked off a runner at second for the final out.
In Saturday’s opener, the Bombers got a four-hit shutout from Mason Hilty, who has been lights out in the postseason.
“Hilty was masterful in the first game,” Jacobs said, noting a particularly tough spot — runners at second and third with no outs in the fourth with the game still 2-0 — that his junior ace escaped scott free.
The Bombers scored 11 runs combined in the fifth and sixth innings to put the game away, many of them coming in typical Richland fashion — walks followed by steals followed by RBI singles, runs coming around on errors, taking every advantage of the defense.
But the Bombers also found their bats — Gibson McGeorge and Tyler Fuller each had RBI doubles, and Connor Moore had three hits.
“We put so many hits together, it’s the best really we’ve had all year,” Jacobs said. “I’m happy with the way we played. We came to play today.”
Richland 11, Mead 0
Mead 000 000 0 — 0 4 4
Richland 101 054 x — 11 16 0
Sagendorf, Jesberger (6) and Crater; Hilty and Morris. Highlights—Mead: McGowan 2H. Ric: Klute 2H, Fuller 2H, 2B; Johnson 2H; Moore 3H; McGeorge 2H, 2B; Ruane 2H; Morris H, Piper H, Weitz H.
Richland 6, Gonzaga Prep 5
G-Prep 000 014 0 — 5 8 2
Richland 060 000 x — 6 5 1
Blatner and Ulrich; Broeske (w), Ruane (6) and Morris. Highlights—Ric: Hilty 2B; Chambers 2B; Bonneau 2B.