OROFINO — Clearwater Valley’s Anthony Fabbi hit the first pitch of Friday’s Idaho Class 1A district baseball championship game down the right-field line, then stole second on the next pitch.
It was a sign of things to come as the Rams rolled to a 14-0 win against Prairie at Orofino High School.
The Rams (15-9) entered the district tournament as the six seed. They had to get past Kamiah to qualify for a state berth and did so with a 12-1 win Tuesday. Clearwater Valley then followed that up by upsetting defending district and state champion Genesee 6-4 on Thursday.
“I like (playing) the spoiler,” Rams coach Josh Bradley said. “I think (his players) will still carry that chip on their shoulder going down (to the state tournament). It is the most relaxed I have been in a tourney because the pressure is on the Nos.1 and 2.”
It was the first district title for Clearwater Valley who will now travel to Capital High School in Boise to take on Garden Valley at 2 p.m. Pacific this coming Thursday, looking to top their best state finish of fourth in 2017.
Prairie (11-10) will face Rimrock at 11 a.m. Pacific the same day at the same location. The Pirates last won a state title in 2014.
This is the first season the classification will have an eight-team tournament, where the top four finishers from the Whitepine League and the Western Idaho Conference will battle for the title.
After the Fabbi single, Laton Schlieper doubled to right-center and Ridge Shown followed with an RBI single to give Clearwater Valley a quick 2-0 lead.
“(Fabbi) is a gamer, a little wrestler scrappy kid ... anytime he can get on base he is going to run on you,” Bradley said. “It didn’t take (the team) much to get fired up today, but he is just a leader as a junior and just one of the scrappiest kids I have seen that plays baseball out here.”
Schlieper had a web-gem play to end the bottom of the first, as the senior first baseman raced over and reached over the fence in foul territory to make a catch on a ball hit by Colton McElroy to end the inning.
“A lot of time, your catcher and your first baseman are your unsung heroes because they don’t get the recognition,” Bradley said. “He has just been so solid all year.”
The Rams batted around in the second. Daring Cross, Tiago Pickering, Fabbi and Trebor Altman all would score to extend the lead to 6-0.
Laton’s younger brother, sophomore Landon Schlieper, was dominant on the mound in a complete-game performance. His only jam came in the third inning, when the Pirates loaded the bases with one out. McElroy lined one right to shortstop Altman, who quickly tossed it to second for an inning-ending double play.
“Landon has pitched two big games (in this tournament) with Kamiah in the play-in game and this one here,” Bradley said.
The fourth inning is where Clearwater Valley put it out of reach.
Fabbi showed his speed with an RBI single. He then stole second, advanced to third on an errant throw to the outfield and scored on an errant throw that went into the dugout.
Altman singled, Schlieper doubled, Shown was hit by a pitch, Landon Schlieper singled and the lead ballooned to 10-0 with no outs.
After an out, Cross was hit by a pitch. Pickering knocked him in with a double, and Jake Fabbi scored Pickering with an RBI groundout.
Anthony Fabbi continued his dominant performance at the plate with an RBI triple over the right fielder’s head. Altman added his second single of the inning to push the lead to 14-0.
Earlier in the day, the top-seeded Bulldogs (14-3) used a six-run first inning to take care of No. 2 seed Troy 9-6 in the third-place game.
The Bulldogs scored four runs before the Trojans (13-5) were able to record an out. All told, Genesee scored all six of their first-inning runs on just two hits.
The Bulldogs will play Glenns Ferry at 5 p.m. Thursday. Troy finished fourth and will play North Star Charter at 8 a.m. the same day.
Clearwater Valley 240 80—14 13 0
Prairie 000 00— 0 5 4
Landon Schlieper and Ridge Shown; Travis Alfrey, Reece Shears (4) and Cody Kaschmitter. L—Alfrey.
Clearwater Valley hits — Anthony Fabbi 4 (3B), Trebor Altman 3 (2B), Laton Schlieper 2 (2 2B), Ridge Shown 2, Tiago Pickering (2B), Landon Schlieper.
Prairie hits — Cody Kaschmitter (2B), Travis Alfrey, Trenton Lorentz, Chase Kaschmitter, Reece Shears.
Troy 000 101 4—6 2 3
Genesee 600 111 x—9 6 5
Joseph Bendel, Dominic Holden (1), Jared Sanderson (6) and Makhi Durrett; Nate Guinard, Jackson Zenner (7) and Teak Wareham. W—Guinard. L—Bendel.
Troy hits — Kaiden Strunk, Boden DeMeerleer.
Genesee hits — Jacob Krick 2 (2B), Cameron Meyer, Cy Wareham, Nate Guinard, Jackson Zenner.
Isbelle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (208) 848-2268 or on Twitter @RandyIsbelle.