Anyone who was a little surprised by Richland rising to the top of the Seattle Times’ 4A prep baseball poll, you better grab onto something solid.
The Bombers moved into the Powerade Fab 50 ESPN Rise baseball rankings at No. 48. They are one of 22 new teams in the poll, perhaps making the Fab 50 somewhat suspect as a gage of the best in the nation.
Of course, just as Richland was moving into the national spotlight, last year’s 4A state runner-up also was suffering its second loss of the season, 9-4 to Southridge on Tuesday.
That would be the same Southridge squad that hammered Redmond, also ranked in the Top 50 nationally at the time. Which begs the question, will Tim Sanders’ veteran club be the next to Rise in the rankings? Or Kamiakin? Or any of the teams in that super-tough CBBN 3A division?
As for Richland being the top 4A team in the state, my initial reaction was, “Whhaaaaa?! Huuuunh?!”
This isn’t a knock on the Bombers, who have gone to Safeco Field so often they have their own luxury box. But losing your Nos. 1 and 2 starters from a team that, when push came to shove in the playoffs, had trouble scoring runs and won with defense and pitching ... that seems like a lot to overcome.
Besides, I wouldn’t put money against Ben Jacobs having the Bombers back on the west side — Cheney Stadium instead of Safeco ... sorry guys — at the end of the season, competing to be the best in the state, even if they may not be the best in the Tri-Cities.