2023 3A/4A Playoff Primer

Dan Jurik
Scouting Director - Pacific Northwest

It’s safe to say that in roughly 4 years of coverage, today has the potential to be the most exciting and compelling day of baseball we’ve ever witnessed. 

All of the 8 teams in action: West Seattle, Lincoln, Lake Washington, O’Dea, Sumner, Puyallup, Tahoma and Eastlake were ranked inside of the top 17 in our initial Power 25 rankings that we released in the preseason

Not surpisingly, great teams have great players. Here’s a breakdown of ranked players from each grad class…

2023: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, 9th, 21st, 40th, 43rd, 45th, 47th, 48th, 50th

2024: 4th, 5th, 9th, 12th, 20th, 25th, 29th, 32nd, 34th, 37th, 42nd, 49th, 50th, 

2025: 2nd, 5th, 9th, 10th, 25th, 28th, 33rd, 36th, 49th, 

Quick hits on each game today…

G1: 10:00 AM

#3 West Seattle (22-3) at #2 Lincoln (22-4) 

During the regular season they split the series 1-1. West Seattle won the first match-up 2-1 and then Lincoln defeated them 5-2 in the rematch for the Metro Championship. 

Our best guess is that we see ‘23 LHP Miles Gosztola (West Seattle/Gonzaga) vs ‘23 LHP Bjorn Johnson (Lincoln/Auburn). This was how the teams matched up back on 5/13. Over the last 2 seasons both of these arms have been the epitome of an Ace for the respective team. We’d be very surprised if either of these arms had an early exit today. This feels like a heavyweight fight that will go the distance and come down to a game breaking play in the final innings. 

Both squads certainly have strong #2 options on the mound at their disposal with ‘24 Nick Saelens (Lincoln) and ‘24 Matthew Henning (West Seattle/Washington) so it’ll be interesting to see if either of those arms are used in relief to protect a lead or if pitch count becomes an issue. 

Offensively these teams are pretty evenly matched with depth on both sides. Neither offense relies on 1-2 bats to generate offense. Instead, there’s a collective group of hitters 1-9 who are all capable of contributing. Offense will likely be at a premium in this one with the caliber of arms we’ll see. A couple key bats to watch for each team who could find themselves in a big spot today...

For Lincoln, '23 Erik Petrie (Bellevue College), '23 Marshall Longtin (Chapman), '24 Lucas Coma

For West Seattle, '24 Caden Fahy, '24 Bobby Trigg, '24 Sabin Tomlinson

G2: 1:00 PM 

#4 Lake Washington (19-4) vs #9 O’Dea (14-10)

A rematch of the 2019 3A state championship game, which Lake Washington won, is on deck for 1 PM today. This will be the first time these teams are seeing each other this season but there is plenty of familiarity between the two. 

Lake Washington could go 1 of 2 ways with their starting pitching today. They could roll out ‘25 LHP Shane Johnson (Lake Washington/Washington) who has been their #1 option for essentially the whole year. Or they could ride the hot hand of ‘23 RHP/SS Carsen Mann (Lake Washington/Tacoma CC). With O’Dea being a RH dominant line-up, it might make sense to stick with the sinker/SL combo of Mann and have him continue his ground ball inducing ways. But it’s also tough to hold back the pure stuff that Johnson can bring. 

Offensively the Kangs look to Mann, ‘23 Camden Gillespie (Lake Washington/Edmonds CC) and ‘25 Brady O’Cain (Lake Washington) for a good chunk of offensive production while the rest of the line-up tends to work as a cohesive unit with quality ABs and capitalizing on freebies. 

For O’Dea, it’s been an up and down season but as of late there has been significantly more ‘ups’. In terms of talent, this is one of the better line-ups in the state from top to bottom. It took a bit of time to work through the loss of ‘23 RHP Brady Foster (O’Dea/Gonzaga) on the mound but their young arms seem to have found their rhythm and the offensive identity is taking shape. There’s plenty of bats who can change the game with one swing, notably ‘23 Tyler Bugbee (O’Dea/Yakima CC),  ‘24 Davis Downer (O’Dea/Washington State) and ‘25 Jordan Holloway (O’Dea/Washington)

On the mound, ‘24 LHP Basil Hendrix has emerged as an ace and we’d expect the polished lefty to get the ball in G1. ‘25 Quincey Brown (O’Dea) has taken a big step forward as of late and could be a key arm this weekend. 

G3: 4:00 PM

#11 Sumner (18-8) vs. #2 Puyallup (24-3)

This will be the 4th time these teams are facing off this season. Puyallup currently has a 2-1 series lead. But you can throw all that out for this upcoming showdown. Being in the same league, these teams know each other extremely well and nobody is going to trick the other. It’s going to be strength vs strength with ‘23 LHP Jacob Bresnahan (Oregon) going for Sumner against arguably the most talented offense in the state from Puyallup. 

There might not be a single player more crucial to his team's success this season than ‘23 LHP Jacob Bresnahan (Sumner/Oregon). Whether it’s on the mound or with the bat, the senior has been an absolute force this year. He’s absolutely in the conversation as the #1 arm in the state. He’ll look to take down the Vikings with his low 90s FB and SL/CH combo. 

On offense, it’s a lefty dominant line-up that can spray the ball to all parts of the field. We mentioned Bresnahan but ‘23 Jay Mentink (Sumner/Princeton), ‘24 Bradley Carl (Sumner) and ‘24 Jaxen Mentink (Sumner) also swing it from the left side and are capable of splitting a gap in a big spot. Also, we’re definitely not sleeping on the bat of ‘24 Davis Jaquez (Sumner) who can break up the lefties and has been a hit machine from the right side this season. 

Puyallup is in the final 4 for consecutive years and it’s not by accident. After bringing back a majority of their offense and pitching, they locked up the #2 overall seed for the 2nd straight season. On the mound, the 3 big arms that pace them are ‘23 RHP Hunter Grasser (Puyallup/Tacoma), ‘23 LHP Brett Ellingson (Puyallup/Seattle) and ‘24 LHP Michael LeJeune (Puyallup/Gonzaga). While Grasser has essentially been the #1 arm this season, they could also go with one of their 2 options from the left-side against this Sumner line-up. Another interesting pitching note to keep an eye on is how early they may turn to hard throwing ‘25 Mason Pike (Puyallup/Oregon State) if they need to close things out. 

The offense is stacked. Key returners from last season include ‘24 Kai Halstead (Puyallup/Stanford), ‘24 Jackson Copeland (Puyallup), ‘25 Mason Pike (Puyallup/Oregon State), ‘23 Donte Grant (Puyallup/Central Arizona), ‘24 Tristan Ringrose (Puyallup) and ‘25 Gage Thompson (Puyallup/Oregon State). Also watch for newly ranked ‘25 OF Riley Sanoy (Puyallup) to potentially make some noise this weekend with his left-handed bat.

G4: 7:00 PM

#5 Tahoma (24-2) vs #1 Eastlake (24-2)

Buckle up for this one. Eastlake has long been regarded as a top 3 team in the state this entire season. Tahoma was ranked 17th in our initial Power 25 and then ripped off 20 straight wins to begin the season and cemented themselves as a state title contender. 

For Eastlake, it starts with their pitching and the duo of ‘23 RHP Bryce Johnson (Eastlake/Oregon State) and ‘23 RHP Dylan Skolfield (Eastlake/Washington State). The 2 hard throwing righties have been utterly dominant this season and showed no signs of slowing down in the opening round of state playoffs as they both threw CG victories with only 1 unearned run allowed in 14 innings. 

Offensively the 2 big bats in the middle are ‘24 Grady Woodward (Eastlake/Washington) and ‘24 Jack Edmunds (Eastlake). Woodward can change the game with 1 swing and Edmunds has been on an absolute tear lately. Also look for seniors ‘23 Cole Murawski (Eastlake/Edmonds), ‘23 Levi Joyce (Eastlake/Edmonds), ‘23 Luke Schlect (Eastlake) and ‘23 Black Borup (Eastlake) to continue to make steady contributions and produce offense in big moments when they get the opportunity. 

For Tahoma, they are led by the #1 overall player in the state with Carson Ohland (Tahoma/Washington). The athletic switch hitting C does it all on the field and his involvement in every pitch helps make him a pivotal leader for the Bears. Watching Ohland match-up with the power arms for Eastlake is going to be electric. Also, watch out for ‘23 OF Conrad Henkel (Tahoma/Wenatchee Valley) who deserves a lot of credit for the massive offensive season he had this year. His power/speed combination can be a game changer for the Bears. Seniors ‘23 Jack Dodge (Tahoma/Northwest Nazarene) and ‘23 Noah Lee (Tahoma/Olympic) provide experienced depth as well. 

On the mound, the 2 big arms to watch are ‘23 Logan Pierce (Tahoma/Central Washington) and ‘25 Adam Jay (Tahoma). Pierce is a steady, consistent presence as the #1 arm and Jay is on the rise, especially after his huge complete game shutout over Olympia to secure a trip to the state semis. 


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