Quick Hits From Metro Playoffs - Bishop Blanchet / Bainbridge

Dan Jurik
Scouting Director - Pacific Northwest

Sammamish, WA - Tuesday afternoon we were over at Eastside Catholic to check out some Metro League playoff action. The first end of the doubleheader featured Bishop Blanchet against Bainbridge. Blanchet won by a final of 3-0 behind a terrific, complete game effort by starting pitcher Jarek Woodward. Bishop Blanchet will now face Lakeside on Thursday, May 2nd.

Here are some of our takeaways from the action.  

Bishop Blanchet vs. bainbridge

The story of this game was the performance put together by uncommitted ‘20 RHP Jarek Woodward from Bishop Blanchet. Facing a tough Bainbridge line-up, Woodward spun a complete game shutout while only allowing 4 hits, 1 BB and racking up 6 K’s. Utilizing an effective 3-pitch mix throughout, Woodward sat mostly 81-83 with his FB and dialed it up to 85 a few times in the middle innings. He also mixed in an 11/5 shaped CB at 64-68 and a quality straight CH at 70-71. Showed consistent pitchability with all 3 offerings and has an understanding of how to pitch backwards when he needed. Give credit to Woodward and also his battery mate, ‘19 C Brian Spear for sticking to their game plan the entire time and continuing to mix pitches in big spots when Bainbridge was threatening to score.

Offensively, Bishop Blanchet strung together hits at the right time. The middle of their line-up delivered 2 crucial runs in the 4th inning. A trio of uncommitted 2020 grads: OF/RHP Connor Stutz, SS Cody Dreis and OF Nathan Prinz put together 3 straight hits to get on the board first. The 3 underclassmen all possess big, physical frames and the ability to drive the baseball when they connect with the barrel.


Stutz led off the inning with a lined shot over the SS for a single. Dreis followed suit with a hard shot of his own down the LF line that put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 0 out. After that, Prinz delivered a line-drive single to his pull-side that scored both Stutz and Dreis.

Bishop Blanchet would add an unearned insurance run in the top of the 7th for good measure. That was all the support Woodward would need as he cruised the rest of the way.

Also worth noting that Bishop Blanchet made some exceptional defensive plays throughout the game. In the 1st inning, 2020 OF Andrew Holloman gunned down a runner at home for the 3rd out of the inning. Later in the bottom half of the 4th, Bainbridge attempted to score a run with a 1st and 3rd rundown play but again, Blanchet cut down the runner trying to score for the last out of the inning. 

Although it was a tough day offensively for Bainbridge, they had solid pitching performances from senior LHP’s AJ Staff and Liam Hatakenaka.

AJ Staff, who is committed to Carleton College, allowed 2 ER over 4 innings of work. He fits the mold of a typical, crafty lefty. Doesn’t overpower you with velocity, but understands how to spot his FB and use his secondary offerings to expand the plate. FB was consistently in the mid 70’s coming from his ¾ release point. He also showed the ability to manipulate shape on his breaking ball at 63-68. Used it was a slurve shape bender while also occasionally throwing it with less break and more true cutting action. 

Liam Hatakenaka, a Portland commit, came on in relief and tossed 3 solid innings. Only allowed 1 unearned run while punching out 4. Attacked hitters with mostly FB’s in the 83-85 range. Flashed a few CB’s at 68-70 but didn’t really need it for a shorter stint like this one. With a large, extra broad frame at 6-foot-5, there’s plenty of room for Hatakenaka to add strength as he continues to develop.

Bainbridge could only muster 4 hits on offense across all 7 innings. They had a few hard hit balls find defenders but that is usually the case when the opposing pitcher is working quick and consistently filling up the zone. ‘20 INF Jasiah George continued to show feel for the barrel with a quality approach at the plate. ‘20 C Luis Vales Crespo put Bainbridge in position to score after his single in the 4th inning left runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs, but Bishop Blanchet made the big play on the 1st and 3rd situation to escape the threat. Crespo also flashed some arm strength when he popped a 2.06 down to 2nd on a stolen base attempt, which failed.

Bainbridge will face Chief Sealth on Friday, May 3rd.