Jacob Flemmer, a first-team Columbia Basin Conference East Division utility player, leads a young, but talented Stanfield Tiger squad into the CBC District Championships for the first time since 1996.
The Tigers square off with the Condon/Arlington at 3 p.m. Saturday at Bob White Park in Pendleton with the winner advancing to play at 6 p.m. against the Heppner/Sherman County loser.
"I like the match-up with Condon," Stanfield head coach Greg Kaatz said. "We've been building a program for the past several years and this is the next step with a playoff berth."
"Each team has a strong pitcher and both teams deserve to be there," Condon/Arlington head coach Ric Rosenbalm said. "The team that doesn't boot the ball around the most will have the best shot."
Stanfield (19-6, 8-4 CBC) earned the No. 2 seed in the East Division and Condon/Arlington (14-7, 8-4 CBC) edged Horizon Christian for the No. 2 seed in the CBC West Division.
"Our biggest strength is in Flemmer," Kaatz said. "We have guys one through nine that put the ball in play and everyone has had a hand in our success."
Flemmer went 6-2 in CBC games with a 2.43 earned run average and leads the Tigers with a .488 batting average that also earned him East Division honorable mention selection as a designated hitter. Kaatz credited his catcher A.J. McQuown for his solid play behind the plate that enables Flemmer to throw with confidence.
Stanfield's Josh Austin earned first base honorable mention honors and his .400 batting average is second on the squad. Junior Michael Sobotta has a .350 batting average and Kaatz said Sobotta has hit the ball well of late.
"We're very excited to be at the tournament," Kaatz said. "Some of the guys have played Babe Ruth at Bob White Park and a state berth would be huge for this team.
"We are just taking one game at a time and we have to focus on Condon right now."
Kaatz said another key player for the Tigers is freshman Tyler Gabriel, who earned outfield honorable mention all-division honors.
Condon/Arlington is also led by a strong pitching ace in junior Jeremy Rosenbalm, who is 8-3 with a 0.98 ERA and leads the team with a .522 batting average.
"I am not sure who I will start at this point," Ric Rosenbalm said. "We have three pitchers that can go, and all could see innings."
Scott Messenger and Mike Salle earned first-team all-division infield honors and Jeff Evens was an honorable mention utility player. Evens may pitch some according to coach Rosenbalm and Messenger (2-2) has thrown well with a 2.98 ERA.
Condon/Arlington also received solid play from outfield honorable mention selection Riley Anderson.
"It would be pretty big to make it to the state playoffs," Kaatz said "The kids worked really hard and deserve to be where they're at. We will go out, play hard and see what happens."