5/12/18: Meridian baseball players in the dugout at Sehome High School. PHOTO: Doug Lange
Regionals: Meridian baseball faces reigning champs
May 18, 2018
The old saying is, "To be the best you have to beat the best". The Meridian baseball team will get that opportunity this weekend. The Trojans open up the regional round of 1A state in Castle Rock against the defending state champs King's Way Christian.
The Knight's (16-6) won the district 4 championship last week. They feature two of the best pitchers in the state. Right-hander Damon Casetta-Stubbs who has signed to play for Seattle University and and left-hander Sam Lauderdale who will play for Washington State University.
Meridian coach Steve Slesk told The Doug Lange Network he's not sure which pitcher they will see on Saturday. He said they have been prepping for the high velocity the two pitchers bring to the mound.
"We've worked really hard for being on time for a 95 mile per hour fastball," said Slesk. "That's been our focus this week along with the normal things that we do. We don't see it that much, so it was point of emphasis from Monday on."
MORE: Full interview with Meridian coach Steve Slesk
King's Way Christian is led by first year head coach Greg Swenson. After 22 years of coaching at the college level with stops at Washington Washington State and the University of Portland, he took over the reigning 1A state champs back in February. Swenson, a Western Washington University graduate, began his coaching career as an assistant with hall-of-famer Gary Hatch at Sehome High School in 1992.
Meridian is returning to state for the 8th time in the last 10 years after winning two loser-out contests May12th versus Nooksack Valley and Lynden Christian. The Trojans (16-8) finished third in the bi-district tournament, claiming the final state berth.
The Trojans will go with senior Simon Burkett on the mound Saturday. "I think Simon is throwing his best right now that he has all season. He was pretty much lights out against Lynden Christian last Saturday," said Slesk.
The Trojans hope to be playing a doubleheader Saturday. LaCenter (14-7) and Bellevue Christian (13-6) are on the other side of the regional. The winner moves on to the final four in state May 25th and 26th in Yakima.
Regional Schedule - Castle Rock High School
10:00am: LaCenter vs. Bellevue Christian
1:00pm: Meridian vs. King's Way Christian
Regional Championship game to be played 45 minutes after final out of previous game.
- Doug Lange
5/12/18: Young Brady Bearden celebrates with the Meridian baseball team after a district tournament victory at Sehome High School. PHOTO: Doug Lange