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Bellevue Christian stifles top-seeded Cedar Park Christian for WIAA Class 1A state title

The Vikings capped a 25-0 season behind Ben Schroeder's arm and well-timed hitting

YAKIMA, Wash. — You could forgive the occasional scoff toward the Bellevue Christian baseball roster. 

A group of 11 players, more than half of them freshmen, could have a hard time fielding a lineup during flu season, never mind playing high-level baseball. 

Then you watch the second-seeded Vikings play, and you realize that looks indeed can be deceiving. 

Deft fielding and pitching and timely hitting make BC a top team. And Saturday night they made the Vikings undefeated state champions. 

Bellevue Christian capped a 25-0 season by beating top-seeded and heavy tournament favorite Cedar Park Christian 7-1 to win the Class 1A state championship at Yakima County Stadium. 

It’s the Vikings first championship. 

“To be honest, we felt teams overlooked us a little bit coming in,” Bellevue Christian coach Blane Berry said. “Here we are the team with 11 guys and starting four freshmen.” 

The Vikings took advantage of a pair of Eagles errors in the first inning and junior Taylor Franklin hit a two-run single en route to a 3-0 lead. 

Bellevue Christian right-hander Ben Schroeder took it from there, limiting a Cedar Park Christian lineup that scored 10 or more runs 11 times this season to just six hits. 

“He’s a real control guy and never gets flustered on the mound,” Berry said. “We thought if we jumped ahead and kept adding on which we did that it would play to our favor.” 

Schroeder and left fielder Juan Gatchalian were the Vikings lone seniors, and big contributors this weekend. 

“We set the tone from the first practice and we lived up to it,” Schroeder said. “I’m so proud of these freshmen and all they were able to do this year, and everybody on this team. It was a great group of guys and I’m really gonna miss them.” 

Bellevue Christian added a run in the second and third innings, and then all but put the game out of reach with two more in the seventh. 

Schroeder retired the final seven batters he faced. 

Kameron Bell had a pair of infield singles and Luke Evenson and Brock Ryan each had a hit and a pair of runs for the Vikings, who held opponents to a run or less in 16 games this season. 

 Bellevue Christian is the first team since 2018 1B champion Almira-Coulee-Hartline to finish unbeaten. 

“We were aware of it but our guys never focused on it, maybe that’s one of the blessings of having such young guys,” Berry said. “They were kind of oblivious to it and just played every day.” 

Braydon Conard doubled and scored a run for Cedar Park Christian, which finished the season 25-2.

--Jerrel Swenning; @JSwenning.