Tim Martinez: Early baseball results are often hard to judge

Tim Martinez: High School Sports

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor



OK, the first week of the high school baseball season is in the books, so what have we learned?

Well, Skyview beat Mark Morris, so we know Skyview is better than Mark Morris. And Mark Morris beat Mountain View, so Mark Morris is better than Mountain View. And Mountain View beat Skyview, so Mountain View is better than Skyview.

No, wait. Huh?

Oh, that’s right. It’s high school baseball. And preseason high school baseball at that.

So playing the comparison of scores could lead to misleading conclusions.

High school baseball is all about pitching and pitching depth, especially if you play four games in five days, which some Clark County teams did last week.

And that’s why some teams can look very good one day, and not so impressive another.

Also, in these non-league games, coaches will coach differently, giving younger players some opportunities to show what they can do.

“That’s what the preseason is for,” as one coach told me last week.

Battle Ground had a very nice week last week. So did Union. Skyview does have a load of talent coming back from last year. Heritage has some talented hitters, and Evergreen’s Patrick Thorpe threw a no-hitter.

And we haven’t even seen much from Camas because the Papermakers are saving most of their non-league games to play a tournament in California over spring break.

So we’ll start to get good answers on which teams will be in the mix for the 4A Greater St. Helens League baseball title on Wednesday when league play opens.

The 4A and 3A GSHL both will be playing 15-game league schedules.

On Wednesday, Skyview plays at Camas, Battle Ground at Heritage and Union at Evergreen. In the 3A GSHL, Columbia River is at Prairie, Kelso at Hudson’s Bay and Mountain View at Fort Vancouver.

The Columbian will publish its baseball preview feature on Wednesday. There are already preview team capsules, as provided by coaches, on our preps blog, which can be found at www.360preps.com.

Here’s what we learned in other spring sports last week:

nErik Powell of Seton Catholic soccer is pretty darn good. Powell scored nine goals last week as Seton beat Stevenson 4-0 and Toledo/Winlock 5-0. Yes, all nine Seton goals were scored by Powell. Powell and the Cougars will get a bigger test Tuesday when they host Woodland at King’s Way Christian’s field at 4 p.m.

• Heritage’s Britni Atwell is an all-around athlete, not just an all-around gymnast. Atwell, who won the 4A all-around title in gymnastics last month, is out for track this spring.

Now we’ve seen gymnasts make the jump to track before, and normally they are drawn to the pole vault. The pole vault requires strength, agility and a fair amount of courage, and gymnasts generally have all three of those traits.

But Atwell competed in the high jump and triple jump last week. Her 5-foot winning mark in the high jump is a solid mark. There was no word if one of her three jumps in the triple jump was actually a handspring. That would have been cool.

The first league meets in the 4A and 3A GSHLs are slated for Tuesday. On Saturday, Battle Ground will host the Tiger Invitational, which will feature most Clark County teams.

• Columbia River golfer Chloe Bartek is pretty good. But, I guess, we knew that. Bartek’s season-opening round of 37 was six shots better than not just any golfer in her match, but any golfer in any match last week in Clark County. We’re guessing it won’t be the last time Bartek is a half-mile better than the competition this season.

• Skyview tennis player Sammi Hampton is pretty good, too. Hampton, the defending 4A state singles champion, swept past Prairie’s Akari Baba, a doubles state champion last year, on Wednesday. On Friday, Hampton beat another young up-and-comer, Union’s Sydney Wallace, 6-2, 6-1. Hampton and the Storm will take part in the Mountain View Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Skyview will be joined by Prairie and Columbia River, as well as out-of-area teams Bainbridge, Bellarmine Prep and Todd Beamer.

• Mountain View still has Camas’ number in boys soccer. The Thunder beat Camas in the 3A state quarterfinals last season. On Friday, Mountain View beat Camas 1-0 in a non-league match. On Wednesday, the Thunder will face Skyview at Kiggins Bowl in a meeting of state semifinalists from last year — Mountain View at 3A, Skyview at 4A.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter @360TMart.