MOSES LAKE — There wasn’t even the slightest hint of bad luck in the air on Friday the 13th at Larson Playfield.
Moses Lake scored 13 runs on 15 hits. Jordan Rios and Dax Lindgren combined for a four-hit shutout and the Chiefs rolled up a 13-0 victory in five innings in the late game. Austin Valdez kept Stanford-commit Henry Gargus in check in the opener, holding the 6-foot-1, 210-pound power hitter to just one hit in a 5-2 decision where he went the distance.
With the sweep, Chiefs (9-2, 7-2 CBBN) dug in a little deeper into their third-place standing in the Columbia Basin Big Nine.
“We’re in the mix right now. We’ll see next week with Sunnyside (0-9, 0-7). If we come out and play our style of baseball, I like our chances there,” first-year manager Donnie Lindgren said. “It sets up a great matchup with Wenatchee. But I told our guys wee can’t look past Sunnyside because anybody can beat anybody in this league.”
Moses Lake has three three-game series left to wrap up the regular season. Sunnyside (0-9, 0-7) can play spoiler with a breakout showing. That three-game series starts in Moses Lake on Tuesday and wraps up in Sunnyside with a doubleheader on Friday.
West Valley (9-5, 8-4 CBBN) is still the team to beat, but the three-game stretch between Wenatchee (7-2, 7-0) and Moses Lake will sort things out in a hurry. That series starts April 24 in Wenatchee and concludes with a twin bill at Larson Playfield on April 27.
Moses Lake 13, Davis 0
Reserve catcher Joshua Jesse proved he’s not just another pretty face, stroking a 3-RBI single to set off the eight-run second inning that also featured a RBI double from Emmitt Tatum, an RBI single from Dax Lindgren, and an RBI double from Zack Valdez before it was all said and done.
Jesse turned on a Diego Ortega fastball and drove into the right-center gap to clear the bases.
“It was about waist high and I saw it coming in,” said Jesse, who was 2-for-3. “I’ve been seeing the ball really well this year and it felt good to make solid contact with the ball in a game situation.”
Rios got the start in the second game, striking out one and giving up just the one hit in four innings of work. Dax Lindgren, the sophomore left-hander, did a nice job closing. He gave up one hit and walked one in, securing the shutout.
“Rios pitched very well today. He hit his location and his pitches were on. We were leaning toward low and away today,” Jesse said. “We kept it low and pitched to contact because we have such a great defense and it works well.”
The Chiefs got seven hits from their first four hitters, getting two apiece from Tatum, Lindgren and Signorelli. Jesse and Zack Valdez also had two hits.
Moses Lake 5, Davis 2
Gargus has a presence about him and a game that demands respect. The Davis sophomore made recruiting visits to and drew scholarship offers from nearly all the Pac-12 schools over the past year, before settling on Stanford.
But the young Moses Lake Chiefs kept him in check on Friday with winds blowing out at Larson Playfield. Gargus got his, singling and scoring once. They walked him twice and forced Davis (3-11, 2-10 CBBN) to beat them in other areas, which didn’t happen.
“He’s a dynamite hitter and we went right at him in the first at-bat,” said Lindgren. “He came up with guys on second and third and we intentionally walked him. He’s a kid that can lose a baseball in a heartbeat and you have to respect that. But as great a baseball player as he is, he’s a quality young man and it’s fun to play against him.”
Josh Williams was 3-for-3 with an RBI and Dominic Signorelli had two hits.
“We played the second game a lot cleaner than the first today. We knew they weren’t just going to roll over,” Williams said. “Our outfield is pretty stout this year. The ball carried in right and center today. It really looked like it might carry to left, but our pitchers did a good job keeping the ball down. There wasn’t very may elevated balls hit today.”