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Auburn Riverside, Auburn Mountainview swing into postseason | Prep baseball
Auburn Riverside junior pitcher Adam Parke delivers against Kentlake.
Auburn Riverside’s boys baseball team earned the No. 4 seed into the South Puget Sound League 4A baseball playoffs with a 10-2 win against Kentlake at Auburn Mountainview High School on Monday.
The Ravens exploded, piling up 13 hits.
“This is the first time offensively that I feel like we’ve taken a big step forward,” said Ravens coach Jon Aarstad. “This is the first time we’ve gone out against a formidable opponent, a playoff team, and put up some good numbers.”
Sophomore first baseman Joey Galeno was 2-for-4 from the plate with a double and four RBIs to lead the Ravens. Junior second baseman Justin Jacobs was 3-for-2 with two RBIs, and junior shortstop Austin Marty added two hits, an RBI, a double and three runs. Seniors Kameron Boardway, Nick Minteer, and sophomore Kevin Thomson, each scored two runs.
On the hill, junior starter Adam Parke earned the win with five innings of work. Parke allowed just four hits, one earned run and struck out two. Michael Rucker pitched one inning in relief, as did junior Tyler Sherwin.
“It’s nice to see and encouraging,” Aarstad said of the win. “I hope the kids can come out with that attitude and continue to be successful in the postseason.”
The Ravens faced the
No. 4 seed out of the SPSL South 4A, Emerald Ridge (10-6, 10-8), on Thursday, with results unavailable at press time.
The win against Kentlake was Auburn Riverside’s third straight.
After starting the season 4-0, the Ravens lost five straight games before rebounding. Since their 2-1 loss to Tahoma on April 4, the Ravens lost only twice, to Tahoma and Kentwood, posting a 9-2 record down the stretch.
A big part of that, according to Aarstad, has been the maturation of his pitching staff, as well as the continued dominance of Rucker, who leads the SPSL North 4A in strikeouts with 52.
“A couple of the guys are really starting to contribute on the mound,” he said. “And obviously, Rucker has been solid on the mound.”
Rucker is 5-4 for the season with an 0.97 ERA in 43.1 innings pitched.
More importantly for Aarstad, is the improved offense.
Marty, who is hitting .333 with 19 RBIS and a home run, led the way. He also leads the team in stolen bases with eight.
Also contributing is Minteer, who is hitting .368 with 18 RBIs, and Galeno who has a .378 average with 15 RBIs.
“There are three parts to baseball … and to win you have to do two very good and one good,” he said. “We’ve been playing defense solid all year round and if we can keep that up, it’s a good thing. I think we’re getting closer as a team, but I don’t think we’ve peaked yet. It’s always good when you’re at this place, in the playoffs and playing well.”
ALSO: Auburn Mountainview (12-3 South Puget Sound League 3A, 14-6 overall) snagged second-place in league, earning a berth in the postseason. The Lions will play at 7 p.m. today at Auburn Mountainview High School against the winner of the Decatur (3-11, 3-15) versus Seamount League 3A No. 3 – either Highline (9-4, 11-5) or Kennedy Catholic (9-5, 9-8). The contest is a loser out with the winner earning the No. 3 seed out of the SPSL/Seamount/Bremerton league playoffs into the West Central/Southwest District tourney. The winner will play at 7 p.m. May 8 at Heidelberg Park in Tacoma against the Narrows No. 3 seed... Auburn ended the season with a 5-11 league record, 5-14 overall. The Trojans were seventh in the SPSL North 4A.