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MLB playoffs spark memories of the Tri-City Triplets

Milwaukee Brewers bench coach Pat Murphy has Tri-City ties that go way back. He played for and then managed the Tri-City Triplets back in the mid-1980s. Murphy and the Brewers are playing the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series.
Milwaukee Brewers bench coach Pat Murphy has Tri-City ties that go way back. He played for and then managed the Tri-City Triplets back in the mid-1980s. Murphy and the Brewers are playing the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. AP

Here’s a potpourri of information as I watch the Major League Baseball playoffs this week:

▪ Thanks to David Schick for tipping me off about Pat Murphy, who is currently the bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers as they make their run to the World Series.

Murphy, who has been Milwaukee’s bench coach since 2016, was first a player for, then the manager of the Tri-City Triplets back in the mid-1980s.

The Triplets were part of the Texas Rangers organization and then became an independent club, all while part of the Northwest League. They played their games at Richland High School.

Murphy was the interim manager for the San Diego Padres in 2015. But he’s also been the head coach at one time for Notre Dame, then Arizona State, before joining the Padres organization.

▪ Othello’s David Garza had a good first season for the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

Drafted by the D-Backs after completing his senior season at Tennessee Tech, Garza was sent to the Arizona Rookie League. He played 38 games there, hitting .307 with two home runs and 26 RBIs.

He was also promoted to the Hillsboro Hops of the Northwest League, hitting .300 with a homer and three RBIs in three games.

▪ Southridge High grad Mason Martin finished his second season in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, hitting .220 with 14 homers and 58 RBIs in 104 games total, first with the West Virginia Power in the Class A South Atlantic League, then with the Bristol Pirates of the Rookie Appalachian League.

▪ Richland grad Eric Yardley spent the season between two Padres’ farm clubs: San Antonio and El Paso. Yardley, a middle reliever, was 5-4 with a 4.13 earned run average. He fanned 37 batters in 61 innings pitched.

▪ Southridge grad Conner O’Neil went 6-0 as a reliever with 4 saves for the Mets’ South Atlantic League team, the Columbia Fireflies. In 44 innings, O’Neil struck out 56 batters.

▪ Former Kamiakin and CBC catcher Maxx Garrett hit .241 for the independent Sioux Falls Canaries. Garrett also hit 12 home runs and drove in 40 runs in 84 games this summer.

▪ Warden’s Jorge Reyes spent the summer again pitching in the Mexican League, starting the season with the Monterrey Sultanes before being loaned to the Yucatan Lions in August. Altogether, Reyes was 4-1, mostly as a starter. In 38.1 innings pitched, the former Oregon State University star had an ERA of 3.29 and struck out 27.

▪ Former Tri-Cities Posse manager Wally Backman finished the independent Atlantic League season with a 61-65 for the New Britain Bees.

And a quick basketball note:

Kennewick High grad Leilani Mitchell averaged 4.4 points and 2.3 assists this season in 31 games for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA.

COMING UP: Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselback will be the keynote speaker at the Boys and Girls Club’s Dinner with Friends event, set for Oct. 18 at the 3 Rivers Convention Center. …. This Saturday: the 2018 H1 Unlimited Awards Banquet is set for the 3 Rivers Convention Center, starting at 6 p.m. … The 38th Tri-Cities Marathon is set for Oct. 28, with the start and finish line at the Richland Shilo Inn.

COLLEGE STUFF: Gerald Barnhart does a great job of keeping track of all the college kids of the Northwest in college soccer through his website INWsoccer.

Each week, he puts out a starting 11 all-star team for both men and women.

This week, Walla Walla CC’s Victoria Higley was his women’s player of the week after she scored a goal and assist in a 3-0 win over Yakima Valley CC.

CBC’s Danielle Chang, who had two goals last week, was also named to the team.

On the men’s side, Pasco High grad Emilio Meraz-Rodriguez, now playing at Evergreen State University, was placed on the men’s team after he scored three goals and two assists as the Geoducks went 1-0-1.

▪ Found Kennewick High grad Justin Wagar on the Internet. He’s in his second year of running the Grambling State women’s soccer team, and they are currently 7-7 (4-1 in Southwestern Athletic Conference play).

Wagar took over the program, one that had at most two wins in any recent season, and led them to an 11-7-2 record.

Wagar has traveled the country as a head coach or assistant in women’s college soccer.

After Kennewick, he played at and graduated from BYU-Hawaii.

Then he started coaching at Utah Valley, BYU-Hawaii, Eastern Washington, New Mexico Highlands, Eastern Oregon and Portland State before becoming Grambling State’s head coach. And wherever he’s gone, he’s left each program in better shape than when he got there.

▪ Richland grad Lakota Wills has 15 tackles with two quarterback sacks this season for the 2-3 Air Force Academy.

▪ Pasco grad Kolby Killoy has a 116.6 pass efficiency rating as the starting QB at Carroll College in Montana. Killoy is 44-for-80 for 627 yards. He’s tossed two TD passes and thrown five interceptions for the 3-3 Saints. … In a 58-24 win over MSU Northern, Southridge grad Brendan Kelly caught 4 passes for 108 yards and two TDs last Saturday for Eastern Oregon.

▪ EWU’s men’s basketball season begins Nov. 6 against Syracuse, and I’m pretty excited to see how Richland High grad Steven Beo does for the Eagles this season. A redshirt sophomore, Beo transferred after his true freshman season at BYU and sat out at Eastern last year thanks to NCAA transfer rules.

▪ CBC’s men’s and women’s soccer teams are battling for NWAC playoff spots right now. CBC’s men are one spot out of a playoff berth with a 3-1-3 record (4-1-4 overall). Sunnyside grad Gonzolo Frausto leads the Hawks in scoring with five goals. The Hawks women are tied for fourth in the NWAC East standings with a 4-2-4 record (6-2-4 overall). Rebecca Wheeler, out of Centennial High in Portland, leads CBC this fall with 7 goals and 1 assist.

▪ It’s been a rough season for the CBC volleyball team, which is 0-8 in NWAC East play and 2-24 overall. Kamiakin grad Kourtney Collins leads the Hawks with 43 kills this season.

COMMITTING: Congrats to Richland’s Bailee Carr, who has verbally committed to running both cross country and track for Colorado State University next year.

Carr has the fastest girls 800-meter time in Class 4A coming into spring. She clocked in at 2:12.61 for a personal record at last spring’s state championship meet.

▪ Kittitas boys basketball standout Brock Rivet made his official visit to Gonzaga this past weekend. Rivet committed to GU after his sophomore season.


Eisenhower’s Jonas Price (14:43.81) and Bellarmine Prep freshman Ella Borsheim (17:32.38) were the winners last Saturday in their respective Division 1 races at the 50th Max Jensen Richland Invitational cross country meet at Carmichael Middle School. Richland’s Riley Moore finished second to Price in the boys race, while Kennewick’s Johan Correa was third. Rocky Mountain won the team title. For the second straight year, Kamiakin coach Matt Rexus gave his boys the weekend off to rest and take the SATs.

Kennewick’s Geraldin Correa finished behind Borsheim in second in the girls race, while Kamiakin’s McKinzi Teeples was fourth and helped lead the Braves to the girls team title.

The Mid-Columbia Conference gets together Thursday for the final MCC regular-season meet, this one at Lawrence Scott Park.

▪ Walla Walla sophomore Ella Nelson jumped into the top 10 around the state with her 18:05.4 at Lakewood’s Nike Hole in the Wall cross country race. Nelson’s time is the ninth fastest this season.


Hanford’s Regan Geldmacher and Kamiakin’s Lillian Thurber were the stars at last Saturday’s Tri-City Swim Championships at George Prout Pool in Richland.

Geldmacher won the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle for Hanford, as the Falcons took the team title with 359 points.

Thurber was a champion in the 200 IM and the 100 breastroke for Kamiakin.

Walla Walla’s Kyra Hartley also had a good day, winning the 100 backstroke and finishing second in the 200 IM.


The Kamiakin girls beat Southridge 4-0 on Tuesday night in MCC play, giving the Braves an 11-0 record and clinching the MCC’s Class 3A top seed to district..

Here are the standings after Tuesday’s matches: Kamiakin 11-0; Chiawana and Richland tied for second at 8-2; Southridge in fourth at 6-4; Hanford is fifth at 5-6; Kennewick sixth at 4-6, followed by Walla Walla at 3-8, Pasco at 1-9, and Hermiston at 1-10.

Chiawana and Richland are tied for the MCC 4A top spot, and it could come down to their meeting on Oct. 23 at Chiawana.


Meanwhile, Richland and Chiawana share the top spot overall in the MCC standings.

Both are 9-0, and meet their one time in MCC regular season play on the same night their soccer schoolmates meet, Oct. 23. But it is at Chiawana also, so there might be a lot of going back and forth for fans in the gym and soccer pitch that night.

By the way, Bob Raidl’s Bombers have yet to lose a set this MCC season. All of their matches have been 3-0 victories.

Here are the MCC standings through Tuesday night’s games: Chiawana and Richland at 9-0; Walla Walla in third at 7-3; Southridge fourth at 6-4; Kamiakin fifth at 5-5; Hermiston sixth at 3-7; followed by Kennewick at 2-7, Hanford at 2-8, and Pasco at 0-9.


Finally, I’m looking for a few things.

If you’re trying to get your high school sports team’s information into the Herald, please send it to both sports@tricityherald.com and to mrsported@aol.com.

That goes for story ideas too.

In addition, I’m trying to keep track of our region’s college athletes and what they’re up to. I have a big list already, but let me assure readers that this area has at least 500-600 local athletes playing college sports somewhere. Please don’t assume that I know where everyone is.