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2022 3A State Championship - Final 4 Round Up


Dan Jurik
Scouting Director - Pacific Northwest

2022 3A State tournament

final 4 round up

Over the weekend we concluded the 2022 High School season with coverage of the 3A and 4A tournament at GESA Stadium in Pasco, WA. It was the first state tournament since 2019. While it was a long wait, they players certainly made the layoff worth it and delivered an unbelievable weekend of baseball. 

Ultimately, Mercer Island took home the 3A title after surging through the back end of the season on a hot streak in all phases of the game. Below is a recap of the Final 4 teams who fought it out for a title and the outlook moving forward into next season for each of them. 

West Seattle

Although the weekend didn’t go as planned for the overall #1 seed, that shouldn’t take away from the impressive run they made throughout the year while accumulating a 24-1 overall record prior to semi’s. In baseball, offense can be fleeting at times and the Wildcats just hit a bit of an offensive drought at the wrong time. That being said, this roster is still stacked and the expectations aren’t going anywhere any time soon. 

‘23 Miles Gosztola (Gonzaga commit) was arguably one of the most dominant pitchers in the state this season. The talented southpaw finished the year with 67.2 IP, 12 H, 28 BB and 121 strikeouts while pitching to a .207 ERA. Bringing back Gosztola for his SR year will bring stability and leadership to the top of the rotation. '22 Felix Schlede (Central Arizona commit) is moving on and his overpowering presence will surely be missed. The talented senior really put it together this season and flashed some of the best raw stuff we saw all spring. West Seattle will also have to replace innings from '22 Maddox Brent (Wenatchee Valley commit). Look for a big jump forward in 2023 from talented sophomore ‘24 Miles Chandler. Chandler flashed potential throughout the spring and put it all together with a loud performance in the 3rd place game at states, bumping 85 multiple times and pitching 82-84 with controlled effort. 

Offensively, the roster will look mostly the same. Brent, ‘22 Nick Hazlegrove and ‘22 Jaxton Hemlstetler will need to be replaced but there’s a strong nucleus of underclassmen who are battle tested and ready to handle bigger roles. ‘24 Matthew Henning (Washington commit) will continue to be the catalyst with his above average speed and ability to hit with consistent gap to gap power. With an added year of development under his belt, it’s reasonable to think he’ll be one of the top offensive threats in Metro for 2023. ‘24 SS Caden Fahy is another name to know. Not just for West Seattle but for the entire 2024 class. The physical SS plays with maturity and poise beyond his age. Holding down SS for a state championship level team as a sophomore isn’t an easy task and Fahy was consistently impressive down the stretch when it mattered the most. ‘23 Cooper Hubbard and ‘23 Jake Lockwood will be back after seeing significant playing time and should add consistency & experience to the offense. Sophomores Bobby Trigg, Tristan Buehring and Weston Webb all racked up valuable reps this season and should be even better as juniors next year.

Overall, while it will certainly be tough to match the amount of wins they accumulated this season, don’t expect West Seattle to regress any time soon. This will be one of the best rosters in Metro next year and they will have plenty of motivation to keep them hungry. 

Mt Spokane

10th seeded Mt Spokane put together an impressive run in the last few weeks of the season, getting through their regional bracket by taking down #7 seed Lynnwood before upsetting #2 overall seed Lake Washington by 1 run. They’ll have to replace some innings on the mound with the departure of senior hurlers ‘22 Sam Martens and ‘22 Tyler Alm. Both of whom got the starting nod at states over the weekend. ‘24 RHP Dom Huffman is a name to watch in that 2024 class and he could be poised for a much larger role in 2023. Offensively they’ll lose the contributions of ‘22 Jaxson Davis (Spokane Falls CC) and ‘22 Carson Coffield (Spokane Falls CC). In addition to his power and ability to drive in runs, Coffield was a consistent relief option & capable of closing out games in big spots. 

While there will be some big departures, the middle of the diamond should continue to be in good hands moving forward. ‘24 SS Samuel Davison and ‘24 2B Cooper Davis made big plays up the middle and can really pick it. Davidson is a well-rounded player both defensively and offensively. At the plate, he worked the middle of the field with a contact approach and shows quality strike zone discipline and swing decisions. Davis has a smooth glove hand & clean defensive actions. Adding strength prior to next season will really elevate his game at the plate, especially with his ability to switch hit. Behind the plate, ‘23 C Rece Schuerman is an athletic defender with quick actions and a quality throwing arm. Offensively there’s some twitch in his barrel and he’ll be a fixture at the top of the line-up. ‘23 1B Gavin Wideman will also likely take a step forward and be a consistent offensive threat that drives in a healthy amount of runs. 

Kennewick

State runner-up Kennewick had a tremendous season from start to finish. The Mid-Columbia Conference Champions took home all 3 major league awards with ‘22 Daniel Dickson (Ottawa University Arizona commit) the Player of the Year, ‘24 Leyton Lind the Pitcher of the Year and HC Lenny Ayres the Coach of the Year. 

Offensively they were paced by Dickinson and fellow seniors ‘22 Chance Oldham and ‘22 Kyan Bowe. Replacing that trio will be tough but there’s plenty of underclassmen who saw significant ABs and are ready to step up next year. The sophomore trio of Lind, ‘24 Dylin McIntyre and ‘24 Ambrose Driver were all regular fixtures in the line-up and will bring a tremendous amount of experience to the offense in 2023. They’ve been through a deep playoff run while seeing advanced pitching and it’s easy to see all of them being some of the best hitters in the league next year. Add in 1st team all-league selection ‘23 Braxden Salazar with his left handed bat and you have a diverse array of hitters at your disposal. Plus ‘24 Dane McClure who grabbed honorable mention honors this season and the young Frosh 25 Dane Chavez who holds it down defensively at the hot corner. Losing Dickinson and his presence will be tough but there’s enough depth and balance to keep the wheels moving on offense. 

Arguably the biggest strength of the team in 2023 will be their pitching. Specifically the depth at the top of their rotation. ‘24 Ambrose Drive and ‘24 Leyton Lind start Games 1 & 2 in Pasco and both still have 2 more years of high school baseball left. There aren’t many teams in the state who will bring back that much experience on the mound. Also, keep an eye on ‘25 LHP Cameron Owen, who made an appearance in the state championship game. He’s likely to take a step forward and add another young piece to the talented staff. Plus ‘23 Alex Mendoza should see his workload improve a bit as he was a consistent relief option this year. 

They’ll need to replace Dickinson as their go-to closer but this is a roster that brings back a vast majority of their production in 2023 and should be considered one of the early favorites to make another deep run at a state title. 


Mercer Island

Lastly, we get to the 2022 3A State Champion Mercer Island Islanders. They came into the state regionals as a 12 seed. Which is certainly a bit of a head scratcher but we won’t go there. 

The Islanders had a little bit of everything going for them down the stretch run this season. Lock down starting pitching, consistent defense, a balanced offense as well as noticable chemistry that you could feel radiating from the dugout. One key to their success was the emergence of ‘23 RHP Austin Cupic (Portland commit) as a bonafide ace. Not that he was ever under the radar as he came into the season as a D1 commit, but he finished the season with an exclamation point. Ending with 3 complete games, going 3-0 with 21 IP, 14 H, 1 ER, 3 BB and 24 K. Bring back Cupic plus ‘23 RHP Evan Otte, who started the Championship game, is a nice luxury to have. That will give Mercer Island one of the best 1-2 combos in a strong 3A KingCo league.’23 RHP Jack Beebe made an appearance in the championship game and is likely to see an increased workload next season as well. The only arm who pitched over the weekend not returning will be ‘22 Governor Aufranc (Pacific commit) who emphatically ended the game with a strikeout that had much more meaning than what showed up in the box score. 

Offensively, they’ll lose some key seniors with the departure of ‘22 Kaden Wu (Belmont commit) and ‘22 Jack Varney (Paradise Valley commit). Plus ‘22 Jett Mai (Pacific commit) and Halen Otte (Whitman commit). Wu and Varney embodied the type of vocal senior leadership you’d expect from a championship team. While Mai and Otte may have been less assuming, don’t overlook how impactful their contributions were, especially their consistency at key defensive positions. But don’t expect much drop off with the 2023 offense. ‘23 Marques Abulhosn (Gonzaga commit) will stay in his role at SS and continue to be an on-base machine at the top of the line-up. While ‘23 Max Clark and ‘23 Alex Henderson continue their power hitting ways in the middle of the line-up. Fellow juniors Chris Mock and Cutter Wedel rounded out the line-up down the stretch and should be able to handle bigger roles next season given their experience. 

Overall, there’s some key pieces to replace but that’s typically always true with a State Championship team. The return of their front line pitching is a huge boost for their 2023 outlook and we’d expect Mercer Island to be one of the top 3A teams in the state again in 2023


UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Pacific Northwest Rising Stars WA 06/05 Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex - Ridgefield, WA
Spokane Summer Open WA 06/18 Whitworth University - Spokane, WA
Bend Summer Open (OR) WA 06/20 Bend Senior High School - Bend, OR
Portland Summer Open WA 06/29 University of Portland - Etzel Field
Eugene Summer Open WA 07/07 University of Oregon - PK Park
Bannerwood Summer Open WA 07/14 Bannerwood Sports Park - Bellevue, WA
Tahoma Summer Open WA 07/21 Tahoma HS - Maple Valley, WA
PBR Junior Future Games NATIONAL 07/26 LakePoint
2022 PBR Future Games (Pacific Northwest Invite) WA 07/27 LakePoint Sports Complex - Emerson, GA