Pair of aces: Mt. Spokane siblings Stu, Morgan Flesland dominate from the pitching rubber
It’s not uncommon for siblings to participate in the same or similar sports. It’s less common that they both end up starring for their respective teams.
But what Mt. Spokane’s Flesland siblings – senior Stu and sophomore Morgan – did on April 10 was particularly remarkable.
Stu Flesland has starred for the Wildcats’ baseball team for a while. The 6-foot-4 left-hander participated in the national Area Code Games last summer, committed to Boise State in the fall and could hear his name called during the MLB amateur draft next month.
So when he tossed a one-hit shutout with seven strikeouts in a 10-0 win over North Central in the first game of a doubleheader, it was a terrific achievement but didn’t come as that big of a shock.
The shock was that it wasn’t even the best performance of the evening by a family member.
That’s because Morgan Flesland, a 5-11 lefty, struck out 10 in a perfect game and the Wildcats softball team downed North Central 17-0 in their first league game of the season.
It was only the second perfect game in 22 years for the Mt. Spokane softball program.
“It wasn’t until the fifth (inning) we had an idea about it,” Wildcats softball coach Carl Adams said. “When we got done, it’s a cool deal – I don’t care what level you’re at.”
“It was super exciting,” Morgan Flesland said. “We had really good defense that day. And then we followed it up with the bats. And it was it was just a fun day.”
Baseball coach Alex Schuerman said whatever disappointment Stu might have felt about not completing the no-hitter was quickly erased.
“I still remember when he gave up the one – it was just this little bleeder to right, a flare,” he said. “And you could just see the reaction on the mound. He was so frustrated, because he’s been so close before, but never quite got the no-hitter.
“And then, of course, he got a very good round of good-natured ribbing from his teammates when he found out his sister threw a perfect game the same night. He wasn’t even the best pitcher in the house that night, you know?”
Morgan Flesland admitted that she gave her brother a little grief.
“Oh, yeah, you bet,” she said. “Right after the game, he texted me. And he was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I got a shutout. How’d you do?’ And I was like, ‘I got a perfect game. Beat that.’ ”
“Yeah, she definitely did,” Stu said. “I told her about how I did, and she said, ‘Good job.’ And then she told me how she did and kind of gave me crap for giving up a hit.”
As far as sibling rivalries go, though, this one was all in fun.
“We definitely compete a bit,” Stu said. “It’s more like a week-to-week thing, saying who did better overall for the week. It’s kind of like a fun rivalry.”
“Sometimes we compare stats,” Morgan said. “But most of the times, it’s like, ‘You did good. I did good. Who did better?’ kind of thing.”
The pride the big brother felt for his sister was evident.
“I thought that was really cool for her,” Stu said. “I mean, she works hard. And so I thought it was really cool for her to get that spot.”
Both coaches say it’s a luxury to have dominant aces who happen to be related to each other.
“To have two that excel in what they do, both pitchers, both kind of leaders in that role on their teams is a really cool deal for you know, for both programs and quite frankly, for the school,” Adams said.
“They’re both really good kids and just really take their business so seriously and professionally and they work hard to be where they’re at,” Schuerman said. “It’s really no coincidence that they’re both really good because they put in a lot of time.”
Stu Flesland struck out five and threw a three-hitter on Saturday to lead Mt. Spokane over Southridge 1-0 in the District 8 3A second-place game to earn a berth to state. The Wildcats face Timberline in a first-round game Saturday at County Stadium in Yakima.
“It was a big game,” Flesland said of the Southridge win. “I think our team just came together really well. And we played a really good game defensively, so everything just came out our way.”
“Stu wasn’t gonna let us lose, is really what it boils down to,” Schuerman said. “You could see it in the in the clubhouse before the game, he was he was icy-focused.
“We would have liked to have six or seven runs and have a little cushion, but he just wasn’t gonna let them score. I’m glad we got one because it might have been a long day where he kept pitching.”
In league play this year, Flesland gave up one earned run over 35 2/3 innings – a 0.19 ERA – and struck out 43.
“It looks like video game numbers,” Schuerman said. “He’s gonna be at the top of our career list for a lot of categories pitching-wise when he’s all done here.”
Those numbers, along with three solid pitches and what scouts call “projectability,” has Flesland catching the eyes of big league scouts.
“It’s in the back of my mind. Yeah, definitely,” Flesland said. “But I try not to worry about it too much. Just trying to have fun with my senior season here at Mt. Spokane.”
But Flesland isn’t dwelling on it, knowing that he’s “pretty well set” on going to Boise State in the fall.
“That definitely takes off the stress of like worrying about where I’m gonna go or what’s next,” he said. “It definitely takes off a lot of stress.”
Youngster steps up
Morgan Flesland played on the varsity squad last season but split time in the circle with a senior. Now she’s looked upon to lead from that spot despite her being a sophomore.
“This year, she’s kind of stepped into that role,” Adams said.
“And you know, she’s done a fantastic job for us. She gives us a chance every time she steps out. And so that’s what you’re looking for.”
Adams stressed that while her talent is evident, Flesland brings more to the table.
“I think people can watch her play.” Adams said. “You can see that, but she is an incredible kid and incredible teammate. I know that gets said a lot, but I’ve been around for a while and she’s one of the finest we’ve had around here.”
Flesland will start on Wednesday as the Wildcats host Shadle Park in a District 8 3A elimination game.
“We’re both playing to stay alive,”Adams said. “Last time it was very close game with them. And I expect nothing less this time around.”